tau

noun
\ˈtau̇, ˈtȯ\

Definition of tau 

1 : the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet — see Alphabet Table

2 : a short-lived elementary particle of the lepton family that exists in positive and negative charge states and has a mass about 3500 times greater than an electron

called also tau particle

3 : a protein that binds to and regulates the assembly and stability of neuronal microtubules and that is found in an abnormal form as the major component of neurofibrillary tangles

Examples of tau in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Our internal sense of time, called tau, is genetically determined. SELF, "We Asked a Doctor How Much You Need to Care About Your Circadian Rhythm," 4 Sep. 2018 Specifically, brains with CTE accumulate a protein called tau (which is believed to be dislodged from brain fibers during an injury). Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 30 Apr. 2018 Physicists subsequently discovered a third neutrino, the tau-neutrino, which accompanied yet another (even heavier) electron. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Nobel-prize winning physicist who coined “god particle” dead at 96," 3 Oct. 2018 Curiosity is starting to see haze from the storm on the other side of the planet, registering a tau of about 2 or 3. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Optimistic That Opportunity Can Survive Martian Dust Storm," 13 June 2018 The definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease requires that there be an overabundance in the brain of two proteins: beta amyloid plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles. Denise C. Park, sandiegouniontribune.com, "5 myths about Alzheimer's disease," 18 June 2018 The previous storm had an opacity level, or tau, of 5.5. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's Opportunity Rover Is Heroically Riding Out an Enormous Martian Storm," 11 June 2018 This diagnosis occurs when a pathologist examines slices of brain tissue obtained after an autopsy and sees the sticky amyloid deposits and remnant tau tangles associated with Alzheimer’s. Denise C. Park, sandiegouniontribune.com, "5 myths about Alzheimer's disease," 18 June 2018 Some companies have changed their target to the tau protein. Christian Holscher, CNN, "New approach to Alzheimer's fight: Diabetes drugs," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tau.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tau

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tau

Middle English taw, from Latin tau, from Greek, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew tāw taw

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Dictionary Entries near tau

tatuasu

tatukira

Tatusia

tau

taubada

Taube

tau cross

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Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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The first known use of tau was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for tau

tau

noun
\ˈtau̇, ˈtȯ \

Medical Definition of tau 

: a protein that binds to and regulates the assembly and stability of neuronal microtubules and that is found in an abnormal form as the major component of neurofibrillary tangles

called also tau protein

More from Merriam-Webster on tau

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tau

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tau

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