Tanta (tänˈtä) [key], city (1986 pop. 336,517), capital of Gharbiyah governorate, N Egypt, in the Nile River delta. It is a cotton-ginning center and the main railroad hub of the delta. Three annual festivals are held in Tanta in honor of Ahmad al-Badawi, a revered Muslim figure of the 13th cent., who is buried in a mosque in the city. A branch of Al Azhar Univ. (Cairo) is in Tanta.