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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Taboo \Ta*boo"\, n. A total prohibition of intercourse with, use of, or approach to, a given person or thing under pain of death, -- an interdict of religious origin and authority, formerly common in the islands of Polynesia; interdiction. [Written also tabu.]


Taboo \Ta*boo"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tabooed; p. pr. & vb. n. Tabooing.] To put under taboo; to forbid, or to forbid the use of; to interdict approach to, or use of; as, to taboo the ground set apart as a sanctuary for criminals. [Written also tabu.]


Taboo \Ta*boo"\, a. [Written also tabu and tapu.] [Polynesian tabu, tapu, sacred, under restriction, a prohibition.] Set apart or sacred by religious custom among certain races of Polynesia, New Zealand, etc., and forbidden to certain persons or uses; hence, prohibited under severe penalties; interdicted; as, food, places, words, customs, etc., may be taboo.


n. (alternative spelling of taboo English) vb. (alternative spelling of taboo English)

  1. n. a prejudice (especially in Polynesia and other South Pacific islands) that prohibits the use or mention of something because of its sacred nature [syn: taboo]

  2. an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion [syn: taboo]

  1. adj. forbidden to profane use especially in South Pacific islands [syn: taboo]

  2. excluded from use or mention; "forbidden fruit"; "in our house dancing and playing cards were out"; "a taboo subject" [syn: forbidden, out(p), prohibited, proscribed, taboo, verboten]

Tabu (1931 film)

Tabu (; also called Tabu, a Story of the South Seas) is a 1931 silent film directed by F.W. Murnau, a docufiction. The film is split into two chapters. The first, called "Paradise", depicts the lives of two lovers on a South Seas island until they are forced to escape the island when the girl is chosen as a holy maid to the gods. The second chapter, "Paradise Lost", depicts the couple's life on a colonised island and how they adapt to and are exploited by Western civilisation. The title of the film comes from the Polynesian concept of tapu (spelled tabu in Tongan before 1943), from which is derived the English word " taboo."

The film's story was written by Robert J. Flaherty and F.W. Murnau; with the exception of the opening scene, the film was directed solely by Murnau. This was his last film; he died in the hospital after an automobile accident on March 11, 1931, a week before the film's premiere in New York.

Cinematographer Floyd Crosby won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on this film. In 1994, Tabu was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


Tabu may refer to:

Cultural and legal concepts:

  • Tapu (Polynesian culture) (also spelled tabu), a Polynesian cultural concept from which the word taboo derives
  • Tapu (Ottoman law) (also tabu), a permanent lease of state-owned arable land to a peasant family in the Ottoman Empire


  • Tabu (actress) (born 1971), Indian actress
  • Tabu Ley Rochereau (born 1940), Congolese musician
  • Tabu Taid (born 1942), Indian educationist, writer and scholar


  • Tabu Records, an American record label founded in 1975
  • Tabu Records (Denmark), founded by the Danish group Suspekt in 1998
  • Tabu Recordings, an independent Norwegian record label founded in 2003
  • Tabu (band), pop-rock band from Slovenia
  • Tabu (band), traditional Portuguese band based in Canada


  • Tabu (1931 film), a 1931 award winning film directed by F. W. Murnau
  • Tabu (2012 film), a 2012 Portuguese film
  • Tabu (TV series), a Finnish dark comedic show consisted of long-form sketches, featuring actors such as Pirkka-Pekka Petelius and Aake Kalliala
  • Tabu the Jungle Wizard, a superpowered jungle hero comic book character created by Fletcher Hanks

Other uses:

  • Tabu search, a mathematical optimization method
  • Tabu by Dana, a perfume and cosmetics line from the 1930s manufactured by House of Dana
  • Tabu (Romanian magazine), owned by Realitatea-Caţavencu
Tabu (actress)

Tabu (born Tabassum Fatima Hashmi on 4 November 1971) is an Indian film actress. She has primarily acted in Hindi films, and has also appeared in English, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali language films. She has won the National Film Award for Best Actress twice, and has received six Filmfare Awards, including a record four Critics Award for Best Actress. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2011.

Tabu is best known for playing protagonists in films that garner more critical appreciation than substantial box office figures. Her most critically acclaimed performances were in the films Maachis (1996), Virasat (1997), Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000), Hu Tu Tu (1999), Astitva (2000), Chandni Bar (2001), Maqbool (2003), Cheeni Kum (2007), Haider (2014), and Drishyam (2015). She has also played leading and supporting roles in several commercially successful films, including Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Border (1997), Biwi No.1 (1999), Hum Saath-Saath Hain (1999), Fanaa (2006), and Jai Ho (2014). Her international projects include a leading role in Mira Nair's drama The Namesake (2007) and a supporting role in Ang Lee's highly successful adventure film Life of Pi (2012).

She is reluctant to discuss her personal life in the media, which has led to her being labelled a recluse.

Tabu (2012 film)

Tabu is a 2012 Portuguese independent drama film in the style of a black-and-white film directed by Miguel Gomes, the title of which references F. W. Murnau's silent film of the same name, Tabu.

The film competed at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Alfred Bauer Award (Silver Bear for a feature film that opens new perspectives) and The International Federation of Film Critics ( FIPRESCI) prizes. Sight & Sound film magazine listed it at #2 on its list of best films of 2012.

Tabu is the Portuguese film with the widest international distribution as of 2012 and the fifth from Portugal to be commercially released in New York ( Film Forum, December 2012), after The Art of Amalia by Bruno de Almeida (2000, Quad Cinema), O Fantasma by João Pedro Rodrigues (2003, IFC Center) and, in 2011, The Strange Case of Angelica by Manoel de Oliveira (IFC Center) and Mists by Ricardo Costa ( Quad Cinema).

Tabu (TV series)

Tabu was an eight-part, Finnish sketch comedy programme produced and shown between 1986 and 1987. The series was produced for MTV3 by professional Helsinki actor-company Ryhmäteatteri.

The series had a troubled production history, suffering from low ratings and creative disagreements with Mainostelevisio. The series also departed from established skit-comedy shows of past with skits lasting up to several minutes, featuring multifaceted characters and frequently acts of violence, swearing, innuendo and other disturbing or chaotic material. MTV3 felt that Ryhmäteatteri had not produced the type of show they had hoped for which eventually lead to censoring of swearwords from several episodes.

Despite its troubles, Tabu eventually won Venla awards in both 1986 and 1987, has enjoyed reruns on both MTV3 and SubTV as well as had a full DVD release.

The show was also an important early step for actors Aake Kalliala and Pirkka-Pekka Petelius working for MTV3, as they had previously worked for their competitor YLE and would go on create the break-out sketch show Pulttibois two years later.

Category:Finnish comedy television series

Usage examples of "tabu".

Hither the manslayer, the man who had broken a tabu, or failed in the observance of its rigid requirements, the thief, and even the murderer, fled from his incensed pursuers, and was secure.

He did not risk his precious gore expnd0Or take a sporting chance in warpardAs English soldiers do:pardHe marched his bandsmen round the walls expnd0And knocked it down with bugle calls fi360A trick that is tabu.

No doubt she was a hostage, but knowing the fanatacism of natives when their tabu has been violated, Turk was sure that she would be of no use to Boling.

Tabu was the temple, Tabu were the rock-gods, Tabu was the hair of Pere, Tabu was the growing coconut tree.

Prayers, respect and observance of tabus had always been accorded all gods, but a master god like Oro merited supreme sacrifices like sharks and men.

In general, however, the tabus which were rigidly enforced on land had to be suspended aboard a crowded canoe.

Tupuna then enumerated more than five dozen additional tabus which protected the king in his suspension between the upper gods and the lower men: his spittle may not be touched.

He went, however, although to do so was one of his tabus, and he made peace between them.

That was one of Conaire's tabus, and that plunder should be taken in Ireland during his reign was another tabu of his.

There was, of course, the matter of riding herd on traders to see that they didn't cheat, beyond a reasonable limit, the aliens with whom they traded, of seeing that they violated no alien tabus and outraged no alien ethics, that they abided by certain restraints and observed minimum protocol, but that was routine policing —just ordinary chores.

Perhaps the perfumed air was enough to loosen the sexual tabus of the people of Nkumai.