American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Variant of taboo.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- See taboo.
GNU Webster's 1913
- See taboo.
- adj. excluded from use or mention
- n. an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion
- 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
“Would it not be wiser to believe that when the English spelled their word tabu, what they actually heard was something different'somewhere between tabu and Jcapu, but slightly inclining toward the former" whereas when the Americans wrote their word Icapu, what they heard was also something quite different'somewhere between tabu and Icapu, but inclining slightly toward the latter?”
“The tabu was the most ingenious and effective of all the inventions that has ever been devised for keeping a people's privileges satisfactorily restricted.”
“The tabu was a most ingenious and useful device; and when you hear of the uses to which it was put, and of its effectiveness, you feel surprised that it was not found elsewhere as an appurtenance of the feudal machinery.”
“The Fijian people have a centuries-old tradition of setting aside no-fishing areas, called tabu areas.”
“In various islands of the Pacific, for both the reasons above specified, the name of the reigning chief is so rigorously "tabu," that common words and even syllables resembling that name in sound must be omitted from the language.”
“The custom of "tabu," called here "pomali," is very general, fruit trees, houses, crop, and property of all kinds being protected from depredation by this ceremony, the reverence for which is very great.”
“The custom of "tabu" was just as universally practised as in the Friendly Islands, and the natives were always careful to ask if things were "tabu" before they touched them.”
“Latin 're-ligare' [literally to 'tie again', 're-tie', 'bind'] which originally designated "a power outside man obligating him to certain behaviour under pain of threatened awesome retribution, a kind of tabu, or the feeling in man vis-a-vis such powers.”
“When an Israeli citizen purchases an apartment or house, ownership of the land remains with the ILA, which leases it to the purchaser for a period of 49 years, enabling the registration of the home ( "tabu").”
“[literally to 'tie again', 're-tie', 'bind'] which originally designated "a power outside man obligating him to certain behaviour under pain of threatened awesome retribution, a kind of tabu, or the feeling in man vis-a-vis such powers.”
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