What does tao mean?

Definitions for taodaʊ, taʊ

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word tao.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Taoist, Tao(noun)

    an adherent of any branch of Taoism

  2. Tao(noun)

    the ultimate principle of the universe


  1. tao(Noun)

    The essential principle underlying existence; ultimate reality.

  2. tao(Noun)

    The way or path to be followed.

  3. Origin: From 道 (dào; Wade-Giles tao) ‘way, path’.


  1. Tao

    Tao or Dao is a Chinese concept signifying 'way', 'path', 'route', or sometimes more loosely, 'doctrine' or 'principle', or as a verb, speak. Within the context of traditional Chinese philosophy and religion, Tao is a metaphysical concept originating with Laozi that gave rise to a religion and philosophy referred to in English with the single term Taoism. The concept of Tao was shared with Confucianism, Chán and Zen Buddhism and more broadly throughout East Asian philosophy and religion in general. Within these contexts Tao signifies the primordial essence or fundamental nature of the universe. In the foundational text of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching, Laozi explains that Tao is not a 'name' for a 'thing' but the underlying natural order of the universe whose ultimate essence is difficult to circumscribe. Tao is thus "eternally nameless” and to be distinguished from the countless 'named' things which are considered to be its manifestations. In Taoism, Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism, the object of spiritual practice is to 'become one with the tao' or to harmonise one's will with Nature in order to achieve 'effortless action'. This involves meditative and moral practices. Important in this respect is the Taoist concept of De.

Suggested Resources

  1. TAO

    What does TAO stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the TAO acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Anagrams for tao »

  1. AOT

  2. oat

  3. ATO


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tao in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tao in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Laozi:

    Scholars of the highest class, when they hear about the Tao...

  2. Tao Le Ching:

    The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.

  3. Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching:

    The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.

  4. Lao Tzu:

    The best man is like water. Water is good it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in lowly places that all disdain. This is why it is so near to Tao.

  5. Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu:

    The best [man] is like water.Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them.It dwells in [lowly] places that all disdain.This is why it is so near to Tao.

Images & Illustrations of tao

  1. taotaotao

Translations for tao

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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