Definition of taboo noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//təˈbuː//
    ; NAmE NAmE//təˈbuː//
    (pl. taboos) taboo (against/on something)
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  1. 1a cultural or religious custom that does not allow people to do, use or talk about a particular thing as people find it offensive or embarrassing an incest taboo a taboo on working on a Sunday to break/violate a taboo Death is one of the great taboos in our culture.
  2. 2a general agreement not to do something or talk about something The subject is still a taboo in our family.
  3. Word Originlate 18th cent.: from Tongan tabu ‘set apart, forbidden’; introduced into English by Captain Cook.Extra examples The play violates several taboos on sexuality. his failure to observe the tribe’s rigid taboos reinforcing their taboos on sexuality taboos about divorce in society taboos surrounding menstruation the problem of breaking down deep-seated cultural taboos the taboo about religion in British society the taboo against marrying a foreigner There is still a taboo on the subject in our family. They broke cultural taboos against women attending such meetings.

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