Tae (태 太) means “beginning”, “the first”, “origin” or “bean” or “big” and Geuk (극 : 極) means “endpoint of each stage in dimensional change.” Taegeuk (태극 太極) is commonly translated as “Great Absolute” or “Great Ultimate.” It is the primordial state of yin and yang that produces the five elements, which in turn create all things. All changes and existence arise from Taegeuk.

Romanized from Chinese as Taiji or T’ai-chi. It is the primordial state of yin and yang that produces the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water), which in turn create all things. All change and existence arise from Taegeuk. It is commonly translated as “Great Ultimate.”

Taegeuk (태극 太極), the Great ultimate (Supreme Ultimate) is simply the undifferentiated and maximum principle. It can not be described in terms of material force or physical form. “In the system of Change there is the Great ultimate.” Change is nothing but the change and transformation of yin and yang (passive and active cosmic forces.) The principle of their change and transformation it the Great Ultimate. Tae (태 太) means the highest degree and Taegeuk (태극 太極) is the greatest extent to the highest degree. This simply means that although principle has no shape or appearance, spatial restriction, or physical form, it is the basis and the axis of all transformation. It is called Taegeuk (태극 太極) because it is completely merged as one and undifferentiated to the highest degree.

– from 北溪字義 –


Taegeuk (태극 太極), the Great whole or Void. The ultimate reality of the universe in the art of Confucian divination. A name for the whole of reality including both the natural order of things and whatever realms of being may be regarded as transcending that order.

– from Buddhist Terms –