[dou, tou]
noun (sometimes lowercase)
  1. (in philosophical Taoism) that in virtue of which all things happen or exist.
  2. the rational basis of human activity or conduct.
  3. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tao

Contemporary Examples of tao

Historical Examples of tao

  • In strong contrast with this mode of life is that of the tao.

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

  • How pure and still the Tao is, as if it would ever so continue!

  • If it were not (thus) laughed at, it would not be fit to be the Tao.

  • All the world says that, while my Tao is great, it yet appears to be inferior (to other systems of teaching).

British Dictionary definitions for tao


noun (in the philosophy of Taoism)
  1. that in virtue of which all things happen or exist
  2. the rational basis of human conduct
  3. the course of life and its relation to eternal truth

Word Origin for Tao

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

Word Origin and History for tao

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper