Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Tao

play
noun \ˈdau̇, ˈtau̇\

Simple Definition of Tao

  • : the source and guiding principle of all reality according to Taoism

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of Tao

  1. 1a :  the unconditional and unknowable source and guiding principle of all reality as conceived by Taoistsb :  the process of nature by which all things change and which is to be followed for a life of harmony

  2. 2 often not capitalized :  the path of virtuous conduct as conceived by Confucians

  3. 3 often not capitalized :  the art or skill of doing something in harmony with the essential nature of the thing <the Tao of archery>

Origin and Etymology of tao

Chinese (Beijing) dào, literally, way


First Known Use: 1736

Rhymes with tao


Learn More about tao


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Tao? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or near a shore

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

torrent rebellion megillah interruption
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ