Definition of Tao in English:


(also Dao)

Pronunciation /taʊ//ˈtɑːəʊ/


  • (in Chinese philosophy) the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behaviour, that is in harmony with the natural order. The interpretation of Tao in the Tao-te-Ching developed into the philosophical religion of Taoism.

    • ‘Hence in analyzing Taoism, one must understand the Tao, its nature and its meaning.’
    • ‘It is the Tao of the universe, and the one and only thing we can ever truly depend on.’
    • ‘Unlike the Brahman however, the Tao cannot be realized.’
    • ‘How can one choose and what is the appropriate Tao or way for a good life?’
    • ‘The philosophy of the Tao has a basic respect for the balance of nature.’
    • ‘The spontaneous movement and development of all existence is an expression of the Tao.’
    • ‘Only when taken together, in balance, will the true Tao be formed.’
    • ‘Its the balancing of the chi within in you to attain the state of Tai chi and then return hopefully to the Tao.’
    • ‘The non-analytical understanding of the Tao, requires one to practice Wu Wei, a process through which the individual experiences no mind, and does action from one's true nature.’
    • ‘At very advanced levels of training the elements, as well as the forms, are totally internalized and aligned with the flow of life, the Tao if you will.’
    • ‘Thus, in ancient China, the Tao refers at once to the order and the Way of the cosmos.’
    • ‘At its deepest level, Tai Chi is a spiritual practice, the goal of which is to achieve oneness with the Tao.’
    • ‘Only bad guys need tools to manipulate our reality, because they are not in tune with the Tao.’
    • ‘The Tao's all about balancing the yin and the yang, and in this case, it's no surprise a woman saves the day.’


Chinese, literally ‘(right) way’.