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[tar-oh, ta-roh] /ˈtær oʊ, tæˈroʊ/
any of a set of 22 playing cards bearing allegorical representations, used for fortunetelling and as trump cards in tarok.
Origin of tarot
1590-1600; back formation from taros (plural) < Middle French < Italian tarocchi, plural of tarocco Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tarot
  • There are numerous published books that discuss the usage of the tarot for divination.
  • tarot is often used in conjunction with the study of the hermetic qabalah.
  • The novel becomes increasingly preoccupied with themes of tarot, paranoia, and sacrifice.
British Dictionary definitions for tarot


one of a special pack of cards, now used mainly for fortune-telling, consisting of 78 cards (4 suits of 14 cards each (the minor arcana), and 22 other cards (the major arcana))
a card in a tarot pack with distinctive symbolic design, such as the Wheel of Fortune
relating to tarot cards
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Old Italian tarocco, of unknown origin
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
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Word Origin and History for tarot

1590s, from French tarot (16c.), from Old Italian tarocchi (plural), of unknown origin, perhaps from Arabic taraha "reject." The deck first used in Italy 14c., as playing cards as well as for fortune-telling. The tarots, strictly speaking, are the 22 figured cards added to the 56-card suits pack.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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