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From Maori.


kehua (plural kehua)

  1. (New Zealand) A ghost; an evil spirit.
    • 1906, Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand, page 228,
      An old man explained to me, “The spirits of dead persons are afflicting such sufferers. These kehua control them. If the afflicted person survives he will be the medium of that [evil] spirit. Some people become demented when so affected.”
    • 1924, Elsdon Best, Māori Religion and Mythology: being an account of the cosmogony, anthropogeny, religious beliefs and rites, magic and folk lore of the Māori folk of New Zealand, Part 2, 2005, Te Papa Press, page 42,
      The other aspect of the "etheric double" of the theosophist, that is the wraith or apparitional spirit seen after the death of the body, is the kehua of the Maori.
    • 2001, Patricia Grace, Irihapeti Ramsden, Jonathan Dennis, The Silent Migration: Ngati Poneke Young Maori Club, 1937-1948, page 17,
      We'd say, 'Ready? Steady. Go!' And we'd run past his bedroom. Grandpa would be in his armchair looking out. We'd flash past crying out, ‘Kehua! Kehua!’


(index ke)


  • IPA(key): [ˈke̞ɦuɑˣ]
  • Hyphenation: ke‧hu‧a
  • Rhymes:



  1. (transitive) to praise, tout
    Kuinka kehun naista kauniiksi?
    How do I praise a woman for being beautiful?


Derived terms[edit]