adjective, noun, verb (used with object)
Definition for tabu (2 of 2)
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 tabu
There, his father, Santosh Patel (Adil Hussain), and his beautiful mother (Tabu), run a zoo.Is Ang Lee’s Visually Breathtaking Life of Pi This Year’s Slumdog Millionaire?|Marlow Stern|September 29, 2012|DAILY BEAST
It was tabu to strangle his widow, though the widows of no other chief were exempt from paying that last honour to the dead.The Fijians|Basil Thomson
To keep them apart all sorts of tabus and avoidances are invented, including the tabu on their marriage.Social Origins and Primal Law|Andrew Lang
The tabu waved before his imagination like a flaming sword, barring approach to the Eden of his strongest propensity.Unwritten Literature of Hawaii|Nathaniel Bright Emerson
Olopana asked Ke-au-nini, "Which of the tabu houses do you wish to take as your residence?"Legends of Gods and Ghosts (Hawaiian Mythology)|W. D. (William Drake) Westervelt
But there is also a negative side to be considered: there is not only the mana, but the tabu, the Forbidden, the Thing Feared.Five Stages of Greek Religion|Gilbert Murray
British Dictionary definitions for tabu
noun plural -boos or -bus
Word Origin for taboo
Word Origin and History for tabu
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 tabu
n. pl. ta•boos
Culture definitions for tabu
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.