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Borrowing from Tongan tapu (“prohibited, sacred”), from Proto-Polynesian *tapu, from Proto-Oceanic *tabu, from Proto-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian *tambu. Doublet of kapu. The word entered English around 1777.
- An inhibition or ban that results from social custom or emotional aversion.
- 1922, James Frazer, The Golden Bough:
- So among the Alfoors of the island of Buru it is taboo to mention the names of parents and parents-in-law, or even to speak of common objects by words which resemble these names in sound.
- 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur, Faber & Faber 1992, p. 213:
- The sharp differentiation of the sexes in our culture was shaped most probably by monogamy and monosexuality and their tabus.
- (in Polynesia) Something which may not be used, approached or mentioned because it is sacred.
inhibition or ban
in Polynesia: something which may not be used
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- Excluded or forbidden from use, approach or mention.
- Culturally forbidden.
excluded or forbidden from use, approach or mention
mark as taboo