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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1829, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pahu was in 1829

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Dictionary Entries Near pahu

Cite this Entry

“Pahu.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

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