- sacred; forbidden
- a Māori religious or superstitious restriction on something
Māori, from Tongan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Examples from the Web for tapu
Thus they have prevented the ascent of Mount Tongariro, which is tapu, or sacred.Six Letters From the Colonies
Who among ye desires the life of Banderah and those to whom he has given his tapu?The Tapu Of Banderah
But the tapu is more often the instrument of wise and needful restrictions.
In English usually written ‘taboo’: ‘tapu’ is the correct Tahitian form.
Suffice it, that a thing which was tapu must not be touched, nor a place that was tapu visited.Ballads
Robert Louis Stevenson