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We report on the evolution of the polaron and phonon mode properties in amorphous tungsten oxide thin films measured by spectroscopic ellipsometry in the infrared to ultraviolet spectral regions as a function of the intercalated proton density. A parametric physical model dielectric function is presented, which excellently describes the ellipsometry data over a large intercalated charge-density range. Upon increased amounts of intercalated charge we observe a strong increase in the polaron absorption in the visible spectral range, a decrease in the infrared W–O bond polarity, and an increase in the W=O bond polarity. Our findings support the oxygen-extraction model as the polaron formation mechanism in tungsten oxide in agreement with previous theoretical works based on first-principles pseudopotential calculations. We discuss and suggest polaron formation by oxygen-related defect generation as origin for the coloration mechanism in tungsten oxide. We further discuss possible evidence for very large effective mass of the polarons within the insulator-to-metal transition regime.