American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A ban or an inhibition resulting from social custom or emotional aversion.
- n. A prohibition, especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands, excluding something from use, approach, or mention because of its sacred and inviolable nature.
- n. An object, a word, or an act protected by such a prohibition.
- adj. Excluded or forbidden from use, approach, or mention: a taboo subject.
- v. To exclude from use, approach, or mention; place under taboo.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Among the Polynesians and other races of the South Pacific, separated or set apart either as forbidden or as sacred; placed under ban or prohibition; consecrated either to exclusion or avoidance or to special use, regard, or service; hence, in English use, forbidden; interdicted.
- n. Among the Polynesians and other races of the South Pacific, a system, practice, or act whereby persons, things, places, actions, or words are or may be placed under a ban, curse, or prohibition, or set apart as sacred or privileged in some specific manner, usually with very severe penalties for infraction. Taboo rests primarily upon religious sanctions, but is also a civil institution; and a taboo may be applied in various ways by a priest or a chief, or even sometimes by a private person, though with limited effect. Some taboos are permanently established, especially those affecting women; a special taboo may affect any of the relations or doings of life, or any subject animate or inanimate, either permanently or for a fixed period. As an institution, taboo has ceased or is dying out in most of the regions mentioned, through European influence; but both the principle and the practice have existed or still exist to some extent, under different names, among primitive peoples generally.
- n. Hence A prohibitory or restraining injunction or demonstration; restraint or exclusion, as from social intercourse or from use, imposed by some controlling influence; ban; prohibition; ostracism: as, to put a person or a thing under taboo. See the verb.
- To put under taboo; disallow, or forbid the use of; interdict approach to, or contact or intercourse with; hence, to ban, exclude, or ostracize by personal authority or social influence: as, to taboo the use of tobacco; a tabooed person or subject (one not to be mentioned or discussed).
- n. An inhibition or ban that results from social custom or emotional aversion.
- n. Something which may not be used, approached or mentioned because it is sacred.
- adj. Excluded or forbidden from use, approach or mention.
- v. To mark as taboo.
- v. To ban.
- v. To avoid.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. 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.
- v. To put under taboo; to forbid, or to forbid the use of; to interdict approach to, or use of.
- adj. 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.
- v. declare as sacred and forbidden
- adj. forbidden to profane use especially in South Pacific islands
- n. a prejudice (especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands) that prohibits the use or mention of something because of its sacred nature
- n. an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion
- adj. excluded from use or mention
- Tongan tapu ("prohibited"). The word entered English around 1777. Ultimately from Proto-Polynesian *tapu. (Wiktionary)
- Tongan tabu, under prohibition. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“By far, the most important victory for breaking the word taboo comes in Cohen v.”
“In an article in the Daily Telegraph, he describes the public reaction to his remarks as "hysterical", and says that a breach in what he calls the taboo on discussing race is "punished by ostracism and worse … the witch finders already have their sights on me".”
“He says the Holocaust was being used to legitimise the suffering of other peoples and he wanted to break what he called a taboo on discussing it.”
“In short, those negative precepts which we call taboo are just as vain and futile as those positive precepts which we call sorcery.”
“Thai government distanced itself Wednesday from remarks in the Minister Kasit Piromya about a need for a more open discussion of what he called the taboo subject of the role of the monarchy in”
“The word taboo enters European languages from Captain Cook’s writings about the Pacific island peoples.”
“Photograph: Graeme Robertson David Starkey has defended comments he made last week on BBC's Newsnight - when he appeared to blame the recent riots in English cities on a black "gangsta" culture - by claiming that "the subject of race has become unmentionable, by whites at any rate". the Daily Telegraph, he describes the public reaction to his remarks as "hysterical", and says that a breach in what he calls the taboo on discussing race is "punished by ostracism and worse … the witch finders already have their sights on me".”
“And I understand why this taboo is indeed present in our society.”
“I mean, they were not raised as relatives ... and they do not live as relatives ... so the social taboo is a loose one.”
“The effect on a writer's reputation of crossing a taboo is probably far stronger when its done in their nonfiction or their public comments and is an explicit statement of their personal views.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘taboo’.
Words chosen as favorites for the Twitter hashtag #faveword.
The new favourite words of people on Twitter.
A script searches Twitter for "X is my new favourite word" and adds it to this list.
thunderfuck, incredible, merp, sara, flopparoo, smother, fugly, buer, plum, canny, nefelibata, cuntbucket and 2434 more...
List of most of the words I've learned
My big word list.
This list collects the magnificent collection of vocabulary of the article "What the F***? Why We Curse," by Steven Pinker, in The New Republic (Oct. 2007). I think I'm more impressed with the coll...
Got unknown words randomly
good grief, I'm getting irritable.
Looking for tweets for taboo.