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Taboo definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

TABOO', n. In the isles of the Pacific, a word denoting prohibition or religious interdict, which is of great force among the inhabitants.
TABOO', v.t. To forbid, or to forbid the use of; to interdict approach or use; as, to taboo the ground set apart as a sanctuary for criminals. Tabooed ground is held sacred and inviolable.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: excluded from use or mention; "forbidden fruit"; "in our house dancing and playing cards were out"; "a taboo subject" [syn: forbidden, out, prohibited, proscribed, taboo, tabu, verboten]
2: forbidden to profane use especially in South Pacific islands [syn: taboo, tabu] n
1: a prejudice (especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands) that prohibits the use or mention of something because of its sacred nature [syn: taboo, tabu]
2: an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion [syn: taboo, tabu] v
1: declare as sacred and forbidden

Merriam Webster's

I. adjective also tabu Etymology: Tongan tabu Date: 1777 1. forbidden to profane use or contact because of what are held to be dangerous supernatural powers 2. a. banned on grounds of morality or taste <the subject is taboo> b. banned as constituting a risk <the area beyond is taboo, still alive with explosives Robert Leckie> II. noun also tabu (plural taboos; also tabus) Date: 1777 1. a prohibition against touching, saying, or doing something for fear of immediate harm from a supernatural force 2. a prohibition imposed by social custom or as a protective measure 3. belief in taboos III. transitive verb also tabu Date: 1777 1. to set apart as taboo especially by marking with a ritualistic symbol 2. to avoid or ban as taboo

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n., adj., & v. (also tabu) --n. (pl. taboos or tabus) 1 a system or the act of setting a person or thing apart as sacred or accursed. 2 a prohibition or restriction imposed by social custom. --adj. 1 avoided or prohibited, esp. by social custom (taboo words). 2 designated as sacred and prohibited. --v.tr. (taboos, tabooed or tabus, tabued) 1 put (a thing, practice, etc.) under taboo. 2 exclude or prohibit by authority or social influence. Etymology: Tongan tabu

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Taboo Ta*boo", a. [Written also tapu.] [Polynesian tabu, tapu, sacred, under restriction, a prohibition.] 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.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Taboo Ta*boo", 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. [Written also tabu.]

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Taboo Ta*boo", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tabooed; p. pr. & vb. n. Tabooing.] 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. [Written also tabu.]

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(taboos) If there is a taboo on a subject or activity, it is a social custom to avoid doing that activity or talking about that subject, because people find them embarrassing or offensive. The topic of addiction remains something of a taboo... N-COUNT Taboo is also an adjective. Cancer is a taboo subject and people are frightened or embarrassed to talk openly about it. ADJ

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. n. [Written also Tabu.] Interdict, prohibition. II. v. a. Interdict, forbid, prohibit, put under taboo, put under an interdict, forbid to be used or touched.

Moby Thesaurus

Eighteenth Amendment, Prohibition Party, Volstead Act, anathema, ban, banned, bar, bar out, barred, barring, blockade, boycott, censorable, censored, circumscription, contraband, count out, cut off, debar, debarment, debarring, demarcation, denial, deny, dirty, disallow, disallowance, embargo, enjoin, exception, exclude, exclude from, exclusion, explicit, forbade, forbid, forbiddance, forbidden, forbidden fruit, forbidding, freeze out, ignore, illegal, illicit, impolite, inadmissibility, indecorous, index, index expurgatorius, index librorum prohibitorum, inhibit, inhibition, injunction, interdict, interdicted, interdiction, interdictum, jargonal, jargonish, keep out, law, leave out, limitation, lock out, lockout, narrowing, no-no, nonadmission, nonpermissible, not permitted, off limits, omission, omit, ostracize, out of bounds, outlaw, outlawed, pass over, preclude, preclusion, prevent, prevention, prohibit, prohibited, prohibition, prohibitory injunction, proscribe, proscribed, proscription, refusal, refuse, regulation, reject, rejection, relegate, relegation, repress, repression, repudiate, repudiation, reservation, restraint, restricted, restriction, restrictive covenants, rude, rule out, ruled out, ruling out, sanction, say no to, scatological, send to Coventry, shut out, slang, slangy, statute, sumptuary laws, suppress, suppression, tabooed, unacceptable, unallowed, unauthorized, under the ban, unlawful, unlicensed, unmentionable, unpermissible, unsanctioned, unspeakable, untouchable, verboten, vetoed, zoning, zoning laws

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