[ dou-iz-uhm, tou- ]

  1. 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.

  2. 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


Other words from Taoism

  • Taoist, noun, adjective
  • Tao·is·tic, adjective

Words Nearby Taoism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Taoism in a sentence

  • Taoism was the idealism of the south, Confucianism the practice of the north.

  • Taoism, Confucianism, and even Buddhism have been said to lack the elements essential to a real religion.

    The Shinto Cult | Milton Spenser Terry
  • In later times Taoism degenerated into mere magic, and was largely concerned with the search for the elixir of life.

    The Problem of China | Bertrand Russell
  • Taoism increased as a power in the religion of China, especially after the fall of its feudal system.

    The Religions of Japan | William Elliot Griffis
  • It is the ethics of Confucius transfused with the mystical elements of Taoism and the speculations of Buddhism.

    The Religions of Japan | William Elliot Griffis

British Dictionary definitions for Taoism


/ (ˈtaʊɪzəm) /

  1. the philosophy of Lao Zi that advocates a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events

  2. a popular Chinese system of religion and philosophy claiming to be teachings of Lao Zi but also incorporating pantheism and sorcery

Derived forms of Taoism

  • Taoist, noun, adjective
  • Taoistic, 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

Cultural definitions for Taoism


[ (dou-iz-uhm) ]

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.