Dictionary.net

Definitions of taboo

  1. declare as sacred and forbidden
  2. an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion
  3. a prejudice ( especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands) that prohibits the use or mention of something because of its sacred nature
  4. forbidden to profane use especially in South Pacific islands
  5. Set apart or sacred by religious custom among certain races of Polynesia, New Zealand, etc., and forbidden to certain persons or uses; hence, prohibited under severe penalties; interdicted; as, food, places, words, customs, etc., may be taboo.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. A religious system or practice, in use among certain savage races, by which certain acts and things were made sacred and forbidden; ban.
  9. To forbid approach to, or use of.
  10. Set apart or sacred by religious custom; prohibited by social custom.
  11. Tabooed.
  12. Tabooing.
  13. A religious interdict among the Polynesians; prohibition.
  14. To forbid approach or allusion to.
  15. To forbid; exclude.
  16. A Polynesian custom, whereby things are set apart as sacred or forbidden to be used.
  17. Prohibition or interdict by religious consecration or the reverse, of great force among the Polynesians.
  18. To forbid, or to forbid the use of; to interdict approach or use.
  19. To forbid the use of; to render inviolable; to forbid approach or use.
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Usage examples for taboo

  1. No. 8 was barred to George as much by his own dignity as by the invisible sword of the old man; and of course he could not break the immemorial savage taboo of a club by introducing a girl into it. – The Roll-Call by Arnold Bennett
  2. Probably there was some taboo. – The Hero by Elaine Wilber
  3. It is said that he might not eat of the flesh of the dog, and he came by his death after transgressing this totemistic taboo. – Folklore as an Historical Science by George Laurence Gomme
  4. Fathers guilty of incestuous practices would therefore be unable to dispose of their daughters to advantage, and thus a prejudice in favor of domestic purity would gradually arise which a shrewd medicine man would some day raise to the rank of a religious or social taboo. – Primitive Love and Love-Stories by Henry Theophilus Finck
  5. Races in this curious state of ceremonial subjection often account for death as the punishment imposed for breaking some taboo. – Modern Mythology by Andrew Lang
  6. 8. The thunder taboo. – Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before by George Turner
  7. Perhaps they have recourse to them when misfortunes occur; for they asked, if one of our men, who happened to be confined, when we were detained by a contrary wind, was taboo? – A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 by Robert Kerr
  8. And Sipar was also their taboo, for he had not feared the donovan. – The World That Couldn't Be by Clifford Donald Simak
  9. " And your name, who you are"- he was speaking, but he did not seem to recognise his own voice-" the hundred other things I've sworn I'd make you explain when I found you, are all taboo as well, I suppose!" – The Adventures of Jimmie Dale by Frank L. Packard
  10. Liquor was taboo in the camp, but he gave orders that unlimited cigars be distributed. – The Iron Trail by Rex Beach
  11. Why is a subject in which we are all keenly interested to be taboo? – The Eye of Osiris by R. Austin Freeman
  12. Bless you, this is my private path; it's officially taboo to the natives, by special arrangement with the old witch doctor effect that runs their affairs. – The Sea Bride by Ben Ames Williams
  13. Will you tell me what you plan to do, or is that also taboo? – The Monk of Hambleton by Armstrong Livingston
  14. The charm of the taboo was now removed; and we had no sooner left the place, than the natives rushed in, and searched eagerly about, in expectation of finding something of value, that we might have left behind. – A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16 by Robert Kerr
  15. Sentences would be begun and left unfinished, as if the speaker had suddenly remembered that the subject was taboo. – Patricia Brent, Spinster by Herbert Jenkins
  16. We must return them and make that valley and what it holds taboo. – The Defiant Agents by Andre Alice Norton
  17. Money matters was just about the one real taboo that she respected and to break over this habitual reticence even with an old friend like Wallace troubled her delicacy. – Mary Wollaston by Henry Kitchell Webster
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