tau

noun
\ ˈtau̇ How to pronounce tau (audio) , 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 Scientists can track tau and amyloid proteins that accumulate as plaques and tangles in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Alzheimer's disease: IBM study cites language use as an early sign of disease," 23 Oct. 2020 Unfortunately for physicists looking to depart from the predictions of the Standard Model, the muon seems to get its mass from the same place as the tau. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, "Higgs Boson Gives Next-Generation Particle Its Heft," 6 Aug. 2020 The condition is believed to be caused by a buildup of beta amyloid plaques and tau protein in the brain. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Gum health could be a risk factor for dementia, study suggests," 29 July 2020 The electron, muon and tau flavors would all be observable, at least in principle. William Charles Louis, Scientific American, "Hidden Neutrino Particles May Be a Link to the Dark Sector," 1 July 2020 The scans showed that people who spent more time thinking negatively had more tau and beta amyloid buildup, worse memory and greater cognitive decline over a four-year period compared to people who were not pessimists. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Negative thinking linked to dementia in later life, but you can learn to be more positive," 7 June 2020 But drugs targeting tau and inflammation have so far been ineffective, Feldman notes. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "A Harder Look at Alzheimer’s Causes and Treatments," 30 Apr. 2020 In addition, tangles of another protein, tau, form within neurons. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "A Harder Look at Alzheimer’s Causes and Treatments," 30 Apr. 2020 Another even heavier variation on the electron, called the tau, was discovered by Martin Perl and his collaborators in experiments at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in the 1970s. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Why the Big Bang Produced Something Rather Than Nothing," 15 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for tau

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

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Last Updated

31 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tau.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tau. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for tau

tau

noun
\ ˈtau̇ How to pronounce tau (audio) , ˈtȯ How to pronounce tau (audio) \

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tau

Comments on tau

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