noun, plural ta·boos.
- the system, practice, or act whereby things are set apart as sacred, forbidden for general use, or placed under a prohibition or interdiction.
- the condition of being so set apart, forbidden, or interdicted.
verb (used with object), ta·booed, ta·boo·ing.
Origin of taboo
Examples from the Web for taboo
As Armstrong writes, “It was not a ‘great objective something,’ but had imprecise connotations of obligation and taboo.”Karen Armstrong’s New Rule: Religion Isn’t Responsible for Violence|Patricia Pearson|October 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Our culture is becoming more open-minded about previously taboo subjects.Porn Keeps Up with the Kardashians: Belle Knox on the Mainstreaming of Adult Stars|Aurora Snow|September 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Everything was on the table, the promos said; no subjects were taboo.
Lingerie—once so scandalous, erotic—was worse than taboo, it was passé.
Would it have revealed a sensual side to Lincoln that has become a taboo subject, and that is much too difficult to document?
Marriage, a conventionalized breach of taboo, is the beginning of a new family.Taboo and Genetics|Melvin Moses Knight, Iva Lowther Peters, and Phyllis Mary Blanchard
We have noticed traces of taboo on women and strangers: what of the vinctus?The Religious Experience of the Roman People|W. Warde Fowler
Taboo animals are thought to give favourable and unfavourable omens.Human Animals|Frank Hamel
But the baseball reporters named Matty's favorite delivery after her chin, and from there down the curves was taboo.Gullible's Travels, Etc.|Ring W. Lardner
The gourd called churakhai, palmyra fruit, and palmyra jaggery are taboo to the Nambūtiri at all times.Castes and Tribes of Southern India|Edgar Thurston
British Dictionary definitions for taboo
noun plural -boos or -bus
Word Origin for taboo
Word Origin and History for taboo
1777 (in Cook's "A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean"), "consecrated, inviolable, forbidden, unclean or cursed," explained in some English sources as being from Tongan (Polynesian language of the island of Tonga) ta-bu "sacred," from ta "mark" + bu "especially." But this may be folk etymology, as linguists in the Pacific have reconstructed an irreducable Proto-Polynesian *tapu, from Proto-Oceanic *tabu "sacred, forbidden" (cf. Hawaiian kapu "taboo, prohibition, sacred, holy, consecrated;" Tahitian tapu "restriction, sacred;" Maori tapu "be under ritual restriction, prohibited"). The noun and verb are English innovations first recorded in Cook's book.
Medicine definitions for taboo
n. pl. ta•boos
Culture definitions for taboo
A descriptive term for words, objects, actions, or people that are forbidden by a group or culture. The expression comes from the religion of islanders of the South Pacific.