What does Taboo mean?

Definitions for Taboo
təˈbu, tæ-Ta·boo

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Taboo.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. taboo, tabu(noun)

    a prejudice (especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands) that prohibits the use or mention of something because of its sacred nature

  2. taboo, tabu(adj)

    an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion

  3. forbidden, out(p), prohibited, proscribed, taboo, tabu, verboten(adj)

    excluded from use or mention

    "forbidden fruit"; "in our house dancing and playing cards were out"; "a taboo subject"

  4. taboo, tabu(verb)

    forbidden to profane use especially in South Pacific islands

  5. taboo(verb)

    declare as sacred and forbidden


  1. taboo(Noun)

    An inhibition or ban that results from social custom or emotional aversion.

    Etymology: tapu. The word entered English around 1777. Ultimately from tapu.

  2. taboo(Noun)

    Something which may not be used, approached or mentioned because it is sacred.

    Etymology: tapu. The word entered English around 1777. Ultimately from tapu.

  3. taboo(Verb)

    To mark as taboo.

    Etymology: tapu. The word entered English around 1777. Ultimately from tapu.

  4. taboo(Verb)

    To ban.

    Etymology: tapu. The word entered English around 1777. Ultimately from tapu.

  5. taboo(Verb)

    To avoid.

    Etymology: tapu. The word entered English around 1777. Ultimately from tapu.

  6. taboo(Adjective)

    Excluded or forbidden from use, approach or mention.

    Incest is a taboo subject in most soap operas.

    Etymology: tapu. The word entered English around 1777. Ultimately from tapu.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Taboo(noun)

    a total prohibition of intercourse with, use of, or approach to, a given person or thing under pain of death, -- an interdict of religious origin and authority, formerly common in the islands of Polynesia; interdiction

  2. Taboo(verb)

    to put under taboo; to forbid, or to forbid the use of; to interdict approach to, or use of; as, to taboo the ground set apart as a sanctuary for criminals


  1. Taboo

    A taboo is a vehement prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred or too accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake, under threat of supernatural punishment. Such prohibitions are present in virtually all societies. The word has been somewhat expanded in the social sciences to include strong prohibitions relating to any area of human activity or custom that is sacred or forbidden based on moral judgment and religious beliefs. "Breaking a taboo" is usually considered objectionable by society in general, not merely a subset of a culture.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Taboo

    Tabu, ta-bōō′, n. an institution among the Polynesians, forming a penal system based on religious sanctions, by which certain things are held sacred or consecrated, and hence prohibited to be used—by a natural transference of meaning by association of ideas becoming equivalent to 'unholy,' 'accursed'—also Tamboo′, Tambu′, and Tapu′: any prohibition, interdict, restraint, ban, exclusion, ostracism.—v.t. to forbid approach to: to forbid the use of:—pr.p. tabōō′ing; pa.t. and pa.p. tabōōed′. [Polynesian tapu—prob. ta, to mark, pu, expressing intensity.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Taboo

    or Tabu, a solemn prohibition or interdict among the Polynesians under which a particular person or thing is pronounced inviolable, and so sacred, the violation of which entails malediction at the hands of the supernatural powers.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Taboo

    Any negative tradition or behavior that is generally regarded as harmful to social welfare and forbidden within a cultural or social group.

Suggested Resources

  1. taboo

    Song lyrics by taboo -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by taboo on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Taboo

    Strictly speaking, there is no such word as “tabooed,” yet we generally find it employed in the place of “taboo.” The latter is the European rendering of the Polynesian tapu, signifying a thing reserved or consecrated to the use of one person. For a South Sea Islander to exclaim tapu when he sees anything that he fancies, is tantamount to saying “I claim this thing; anyone else who touches it shall die.” Amongst ourselves a subject which is taboo must not be discussed.

How to pronounce Taboo?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say Taboo in sign language?

  1. taboo


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Taboo in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Taboo in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of Taboo in a Sentence

  1. Jessica Wardell:

    The main problem people have with breast-feeding is they sexualize breasts, so it offends them, if we could make them less taboo, breast-feeding would be much more acceptable in society.

  2. Larry Rand:

    Especially in low - and middle-income countries with really high preterm birth rates and huge neonatal mortality rates, one of the biggest problems is, there is no ultrasound, and women are not empowered to keep track of their last menstrual cycle. It's often taboo to keep track of or talk about your period, that is one of the biggest problems we have worldwide, and lots of folks have been working on trying to find another way -- ideally an inexpensive test -- to figure out what the gestational age is for any given pregnancy.

  3. Jefferson County Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich:

    This whole situation has made it impossible for him to do what he was elected to do: effectively govern, and as the father of four children under the age of 17, it doesn’t matter if it was a boy or a girl. When you are an elected official, it’s just so taboo, you can’t go there. You’re in a position of power, you can’t abuse that.

  4. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei:

    The key to solving (Iran's) economic problems is ... inside the country, if pens and papers on the desks, to construction materials and anything else can be produced in the country, it should be forbidden and considered a taboo.

  5. Rashid Rashid:

    The people think that the musical methods and singing may lead to dancing, so they may not accept it, before we adopted this method at all of the schools, we chose 25 schools and made it clear to the headmasters that the musical method is not taboo and not shameful.

Images & Illustrations of Taboo

  1. TabooTabooTabooTabooTaboo

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Translations for Taboo

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"Taboo." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 14 Jul 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Taboo>.

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