[dou-iz-uh m, tou-]


the philosophical system evolved by Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu, advocating a life of complete simplicity and naturalness and of noninterference with the course of natural events, in order to attain a happy existence in harmony with the Tao.
Also called Hsüan Chiao. a popular Chinese religion, originating in the doctrines of Lao-tzu but later highly eclectic in nature and characterized by a pantheon of many gods and by the practice of alchemy, divination, and magic.

Origin of Taoism

Related formsTao·ist, noun, adjectiveTao·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for taoism

Historical Examples of taoism

  • Note: “In a yellow robe,” is an indication of Taoism: compare with No. 38.

  • For many centuries Buddhism and Taoism were in bitter antagonism.

  • In the group of nine, Lao-tseu, the founder of Taoism, is the ninth figure.

  • Nobody believed in Taoism, and they knew nothing of its doctrine or of its worship.

    Changing China

    William Gascoyne-Cecil

  • The superstitions which have grown up about Taoism particularly are innumerable.

British Dictionary definitions for taoism



the philosophy of Lao Zi that advocates a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events
a popular Chinese system of religion and philosophy claiming to be teachings of Lao Zi but also incorporating pantheism and sorcery
Derived FormsTaoist, noun, adjectiveTaoistic, adjective
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 taoism



religious system founded by Lao Tzu (b. 604 B.C.E.), 1839, from Chinese tao "way, path, right way (of life), reason" + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

taoism in Culture



A religion native to China. Its adherents attempt to live according to the Tao — the “Way,” which they believe governs the universe.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.