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June 27, 2022

Toadstool / noun / toad·stool

We sometimes know the word "toadstool" as a reference to fairy characters from our favorite movies. In English, the proper definition of "toadstool" is an inedible fungus or poisonous mushroom. They named toadstools for their signature shape and their comparison to poisonous toads. There has been some public debate about whether toadstools are mushrooms. Toadstools are poisonous mushrooms that we shouldn't eat. The primary difference between toadstools and other mushrooms is their toxicity.

Biologists say non-toxic mushrooms aren't poisonous like toxic mushrooms and are safe to eat. It's important to know the difference between the two as toadstools often resemble other edible mushrooms and feature an umbrella-like shape that sits on top of a slender body. This custom shape makes toadstools the subject of fanciful stories about fairies and other small fantasy creatures sitting on top of toadstools in children's stories.

In a Sentence

They often compare toadstools to regular mushrooms, but toadstools are inedible.

The beautiful fairy sat atop the colorful toadstool in the middle of the fairy garden.

Be careful not to eat a poisonous mushroom when you're camping overnight!


We derived the word "toadstool" from a combination of two Late Middle English words. They combined "tadde" which meant ‘toad' with the Middle English word stole or ‘stool' to create the fanciful term "toadstool." Etymologists say we formed this fanciful word with the thought of poisonous toads in mind. The definition of toadstool hasn't changed its meaning since we first used it in the 14th century.


Fungus, Poisonous Mushroom


Mushroom, Stuffed Mushroom


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