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[dou, tou] /daʊ, taʊ/
noun, (sometimes lowercase)
(in philosophical Taoism) that in virtue of which all things happen or exist.
the rational basis of human activity or conduct.
a universal, regarded as an ideal attained to a greater or lesser degree by those embodying it.
Origin of Tao
< Chinese (Wade-Giles) Tao4, (pinyin) dào literally, way Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Tao
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In strong contrast with this mode of life is that of the Tao.

    An Epoch in History

    P. H. Eley
  • Religious writings (the Old Testament, Tao) are also examples.

  • The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao.

    Tao Teh King Lao-Tze
  • How pure and still the Tao is, as if it would ever so continue!

    Tao Teh King Lao-Tze
  • This is what is called 'The mysterious Quality' (of the Tao).

    Tao Teh King Lao-Tze
British Dictionary definitions for Tao


noun (in the philosophy of Taoism)
that in virtue of which all things happen or exist
the rational basis of human conduct
the course of life and its relation to eternal truth
Word Origin
Chinese, literally: path, way
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Tao



1736, from Chinese tao "way, path, right way (of life), reason."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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