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

Those signs include lesions and buildup of tau, a protein associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Sabine Galvis, Science | AAAS, "Even if you don’t play contact sports, you could develop signs of traumatic brain injury," 3 July 2019 If only the bottle or the beam technique had been developed, physicists might have gone forward with the wrong value for tau plugged into their calculations. Quanta Magazine, "Neutron Lifetime Puzzle Deepens, but No Dark Matter Seen," 13 Feb. 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," 4 Feb. 2019 Another PET scan innovation, currently under development, may be able to detect the abnormal protein tau, thought to be another telltale sign of Alzheimer’s. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 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," 4 Feb. 2019 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," 4 Feb. 2019 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," 4 Feb. 2019 Later research identified the proteins that made up the plaques as amyloid and those that form the tangles as tau. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tau

Dictionary Entries near tau

tatuasu

tatukira

Tatusia

tau

taubada

Taube

tau cross

Statistics for tau

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tau

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tau

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tau

Comments on tau

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

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!