Tao (in Wade-Giles romanization, which is misleading in terms of representing pronunciation) or Dao (Pinyin) means many different things. In Chinese language and culture it is ubiqitous, primarily because its bandwidth of meanings is so large and vague. It's fundamental meaning is that of a "way" in the sense of a "way of" doing or knowing or behaving or speaking of something. Christian missionaries used "dao" for "logos" in their translations of the Gospel of John. Thus, "In the beginning was the Dao. And the Dao was with god..."

Many contemporary constructions of Taoism (or Daoism) bear little or no relation to previous historical versions. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes these are naive, sometimes much more profound those that came before.