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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Hawaiian party or feast, 1853, from Hawaiian lu'au, literally "young taro tops," which were served at outdoor feasts.


n. An elaborate Hawaiian feast featuring traditional foods and entertainment.


A luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is usually accompanied by entertainment. It may feature food such as poi, kalua pig, poke, lomi salmon, opihi, haupia and beer, and entertainment such as traditional Hawaiian music and hula. Among people from Hawaiʻi, the concepts of "luau" and "party" are often blended, resulting in graduation luau, wedding luau and birthday luau.

Luau (disambiguation)

Luau is a Hawaiian feast.

Luau may also refer to:

  • Luau, Cuanza Sul
  • Luau, Moxico

Usage examples of "luau".

Mori-mura, tonight, when you almost went out of your way, at the luau last night, to avoid him.

Chapter 47 If it could only all be like the luau had been, all the time, Warden thought with his feet cocked on the desk and his head cradled in his locked fingers.

Because this was a tourist luau in Waikiki and like as not they would run into somebody one or both of them knew.

They had gone into town to the luau and each taken a new lover, and gotten the only real relief either one of them got from the other during the whole 10 days.

It was a tourist luau, not a real one, but after a few drinks it was practically just as good and you did not mind the fat white vacuum-cleaner faces watching, or the neatly pressed jackets and pants catching the light from the fire whitely.

Paul, whom they met on the path, told them that Saito was meeting the luau visitors at the dock, seeing that the boats were tied up in some kind of order, and sending the occupants on their way up the beach.

After our shower, the studmuffin had swapped the luau shirt and shorts for cutoffs, tank, and flip-flops.

It was the first of September when Willie and Keefer staggered into the BOQ at four in the morning, full of hog meat and whisky which they had consumed at a hilarious luau arranged by the nurses.

And he attended a luau on the beach at Kauai, and he ate heikaukau rock crab, and poi and kukui nuts while the hula girls danced.

After the afternoon watersports, a festive luau was held under the stars adjacent to the village structures.

The crew deserved a rest, and the locals would reduce the three-to-two male-female ratio that sometimes made a shoreside luau a little tense.

The only luaus she had ever seen were the put-up jobs at Schofield for the officers.

Riding horses, being locked inside sheds, snorkeling for hours, luaus, and big fights with Kit must have that effect on her, she decided.

Instead, they could put a few tiki lanterns in the backyard, wear aloha shirts, crank up a Don Ho CD, and have a canned-ham luau.

A colonel with the sonorous title of Director of Materials and Supplies Control had met her at a party and pirated her away from Cincpac- Martial law now ruled the territory, and under the jolly surface of Honolulu-the leis, the brass bands, the luaus, and the beautiful scenery-there was a cold tough dictatorship.