- Historical a quack doctor's assistant who pretended to eat toads, etc. as a public demonstration of the efficacy of the doctor's medicines
- Archaic toady
Origin of toadeaterOriginally, a charlatan's helper who ate (or pretended to eat) poisonous toads so that his employer could display his prowess in expelling the poison.
- A fawning, obsequious parasite; a mean sycophant or flatterer.
- You're too zealous a toadeater, and betray yourself. "” C. Dickens (1844).
- a chaplain, tutor, toadeater, or some superior servant. "” J. Wilson (1819).
- A toad eater, a led captain, an humble companion, are appellations which no man, who has a real sense of honour, would chuse to possess; but these are the best names bestowed upon men who spend their lives in courting the great by all arts, but those of virtue and truth. V. Knox (1781).
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.