1

taboo

adjective ta·boo \ tə-ˈbü , ta- \
variants: or less commonly tabu
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of taboo

1 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
2 :forbidden to profane use or contact because of what are held to be dangerous supernatural powers

Examples of taboo in a Sentence

  1. Sex is a taboo subject for many people.

  2. In this company, dating a coworker is considered taboo.

Recent Examples of taboo from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'taboo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of taboo

Tongan tabu


2

taboo

noun
variants: or less commonly tabu

Definition of taboo

plural taboos also tabus
1 a :a prohibition imposed by social custom or as a protective measure
  • … they may have developed a taboo against eating fish.
  • —Jared Diamond
b :something that is not acceptable to say, mention, or do :something that is taboo
  • … the tacticians in a conservative Republican Administration now deem membership in the club a taboo.
  • —Peter J. Boyer
2 :a prohibition against touching, saying, or doing something for fear of immediate harm from a supernatural force
3 :belief in taboos

Examples of taboo in a Sentence

  1. religious taboos against drinking alcohol

  2. Marrying a close relative is a taboo in many cultures.

Recent Examples of taboo from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'taboo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of taboo

1777


3

taboo

verb
variants: or less commonly tabu

Definition of taboo

transitive verb
1 :to set apart as taboo especially by marking with a ritualistic symbol
2 :to avoid or ban as taboo

First Known Use of taboo

1777


TABOO Defined for English Language Learners

taboo

adjective

Definition of taboo for English Language Learners

  • : not acceptable to talk about or do


taboo

noun

Definition of taboo for English Language Learners

  • : a rule against doing or saying something in a particular culture or religion

  • : something that is not acceptable to talk about or do : something that is taboo


Medical Dictionary

1

taboo

noun ta·boo
variants: also tabu play \tə-ˈbü, ta-\

medical Definition of taboo

plural taboos also tabus
1 :a prohibition in some cultures against touching, saying, or doing something for fear of immediate harm from a mysterious superhuman force
2 :a prohibition imposed by social custom or as a protective measure
  • the view that incest, not cannibalism, was the world's first taboo
  • —Phyllis Grosskurth
3 :belief in taboos

taboo

also tabu adjective

2

taboo

transitive verb
variants: also tabu

medical Definition of taboo

:to avoid or ban as taboo


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