Definition of


  1. (noun, attribute) an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion
  2. (noun, cognition) a prejudice (especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands) that prohibits the use or mention of something because of its sacred nature
  3. (verb, social) declare as sacred and forbidden
  4. (adj, all) excluded from use or mention
    in our house dancing and playing cards were out
    a taboo subject
  5. (adj, all) forbidden to profane use especially in South Pacific islands

via WordNet, Princeton University

Alternate forms of Taboo

Derivations: taboo

Hypernyms: bias, inhibition, preconception, prejudice, restrict

Origin of the word Taboo

  1. 1777 (in Cook's "A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean"), "consecrated, inviolable, forbidden, unclean or cursed," explained in some Englishsources 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-Pol… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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