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taboo (adj.)

also tabu, 1777 (in Cook's "A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean"), "consecrated, inviolable, forbidden, unclean or cursed," explained in some English sources as being from Tongan (Polynesian language of the island of Tonga) ta-bu "sacred," from ta "mark" + bu "especially." But this may be folk etymology, as linguists in the Pacific have reconstructed an irreducable Proto-Polynesian *tapu, from Proto-Oceanic *tabu "sacred, forbidden" (compare Hawaiian kapu "taboo, prohibition, sacred, holy, consecrated;" Tahitian tapu "restriction, sacred, devoted; an oath;" Maori tapu "be under ritual restriction, prohibited"). The noun and verb are English innovations first recorded in Cook's book.

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Definitions of taboo from WordNet
1
taboo (n.)
a prejudice (especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands) that prohibits the use or mention of something because of its sacred nature;
Synonyms: tabu
taboo (n.)
an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion;
Synonyms: tabu
2
taboo (adj.)
excluded from use or mention;
a taboo subject
Synonyms: forbidden / out / prohibited / proscribed / tabu / verboten
taboo (adj.)
forbidden to profane use especially in South Pacific islands;
Synonyms: tabu
3
taboo (v.)
declare as sacred and forbidden;
From wordnet.princeton.edu