pa·​hu | \ ˈpä-ˌhü How to pronounce pahu (audio) \

Definition of pahu

: a sacred Polynesian drum having a slightly tapered wooden body with a carved openwork base and a sharkskin head stretched by ropes that is played with the hands The Hawaiian pahu (sharkskin drum) is both the oldest instrument on the islands and a symbol of the ancient links to Polynesia.— Simon Broughton and Mark Ellingham, World Music, 2000

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First Known Use of pahu

1829, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pahu

borrowed from Hawaiian, Tahitian, or Marquesan pahu “drum,” going back to Central-Eastern Polynesian *pasu

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Cite this Entry

“Pahu.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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dull or mediocre

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