a prejudice (especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands) that prohibits the use or mention of something because of its sacred nature
an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion
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"
forbidden to profane use especially in South Pacific islands
declare as sacred and forbidden
An inhibition or ban that results from social custom or emotional aversion.
Something which may not be used, approached or mentioned because it is sacred.
To mark as taboo.
Excluded or forbidden from use, approach or mention.
Incest is a taboo subject in most soap operas.
Origin: tapu. The word entered English around 1777. Ultimately from tapu.
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
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
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
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
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
Any negative tradition or behavior that is generally regarded as harmful to social welfare and forbidden within a cultural or social group.
Song lyrics by taboo -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by taboo on the Lyrics.com website.
Etymology and Origins
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.
The numerical value of Taboo in Chaldean Numerology is: 3
The numerical value of Taboo in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8
Examples of Taboo in a Sentence
By holding the issue, readers are immediately breaking the taboo.
A haircut is not taboo for Luxembourg in the sense that everything can be talked about.
The question of sending ground troops is not yet on the table... but obviously nothing is taboo.
We need to stop the wave of refugees. Examining whether to fortify the borders should not be taboo.
It's not normal to be Jewish in Germany so anti-Semitism is not normal to talk about, it's very taboo.
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Translations for Taboo
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- tabúCatalan, Valencian
- tabuizovat, tabuCzech
- tabuisieren, tabuGerman
- merkitä, välttää, tabu, kieltääFinnish
- tabou, taboueFrench
- 禁忌, 禁止, タブー, 排斥, 禁制Japanese
- tabuTonga (Tonga Islands)
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