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90s Slang You Should Know


sacred; forbidden
a Māori religious or superstitious restriction on something
Word Origin
Māori, from Tongan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Examples from the Web for tapu
Historical Examples
  • Some of the forms of the tapu were not to be played with, and were of a most virulent kind.

    Old New Zealand Earl of Pembroke.
  • Thus they have prevented the ascent of Mount Tongariro, which is tapu, or sacred.

  • Or he selects a tree which will fashion into a good canoe; he distinguishes it with the tapu mark, and it becomes his own.

    Curiosities of Superstition W. H. Davenport Adams
  • But the tapu is more often the instrument of wise and needful restrictions.

    In the South Seas Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Anything animate or inanimate could be rendered tapu by the will, or even touch, of a man who was tapu himself.

  • Suffice it, that a thing which was tapu must not be touched, nor a place that was tapu visited.

    Ballads Robert Louis Stevenson
  • He was in a terrible stew when this pig, killed on tapu ground, and consequently tapu itself, stranded on his beach.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • When it was slightly scorched he would throw it away; it was tapu to Uenuku.

  • These twelve were tapu, and were all tino toa—tried and practised fighting-men.

  • It will be seen at once that this form of the tapu was a great preserver of property.

    Old New Zealand Earl of Pembroke.

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