Definition of tapu in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtɑːpuː/

Entry from British & World English dictionary


Forbidden; taboo.
Example sentences
  • Almost nothing can happen - certainly nothing can be officially opened - without a Maori ceremony, which will frequently include a lifting of tapu, or an invocation to banish spirits.
  • It says the Te Tumu Pa site, river mouth and river margins should be tapu forever out of respect for the tribes which fought there.
  • That is, students warrant exposure to what is important and treasured about Maori culture, with the proviso that this doesn't signal handing over knowledge that is deemed tapu or intensely personal.



For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tapu

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.