follow Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is...

tau

[tou, taw for 1, 2, 4; tahv, tawv for 3] /taʊ, tɔ for 1, 2, 4; tɑv, tɔv for 3/
noun
1.
the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet (T, τ).
2.
the consonant sound represented by this letter.
3.
tav.
4.
Also, tauon [tou-on] /ˈtaʊ ɒn/ (Show IPA). Physics. tau lepton.
5.
Also called tau protein. Biochemistry. a protein that is an important component of nerve cells, helping to maintain their function and structure: in the brain, distortions in the protein’s molecular shape is associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Latin < Greek taû < Semitic; cf. tav
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for taus

tau

/tɔː; taʊ/
noun
1.
the 19th letter in the Greek alphabet (Τ, τ), a consonant, transliterated as t
Word Origin
C13: via Latin from Greek, of Semitic origin; see tav
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for taus

tau

nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, from Hebrew taw, last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, literally "sign, mark."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
taus in Medicine

tau n.

Symbol τ The 19th letter of the Greek alphabet.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for taus

TAU

Taurus
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for taus

tau

elementary subatomic particle similar to the electron but approximately 3,500 times heavier. Like the electron and the muon, the tau is an electrically charged member of the lepton family of subatomic particles; the tau is negatively charged, while its antiparticle is positively charged

Learn more about tau with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tau

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for taus

4
5
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for taus