(noun) An act considered so offensive to norms, particularly mores (moral norms) as to be reviled.
- (noun) bestiality – Having sex with animals.
- (noun) cannibalism – Eating human flesh.
- (noun) incest – Having sex with a family member.
- (noun) infanticide – Killing a child, particularly an infant.
Audio Pronunciation: (ta·boo)
Download Audio Pronunciation: taboo.mp3
- Plural: taboos
- A taboo topic is a subject that you generally do not discuss with certain people. Politics, religion, and sex are considered by some to be taboo topics in polite conversation.
- A taboo behavior is a behavior deemed inappropriate by a society or culture. Homosexuality and sex outside of marriage are both taboo behavior in some societies or cultures.
- Taboo scholars include:
- Variant spelling: tabu
- “Violation of taboos is punishable by the group or even, according to certain belief system, by a supernatural force. The incest taboo which prohibits sexual or martial relations between certain categories of kin, is an example of a nearly universal taboo” (Kendall 2006:56).
- Word origin of “taboo” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Douglas, Mary. 1966. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. New York: Praeger.
- Harris, Marvin. 1985. Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture. New York: Simon and Schuster.
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How to Cite the Definition of Taboo
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “taboo.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved January 23, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/taboo/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
taboo. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/taboo/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “taboo.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed January 23, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/taboo/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“taboo.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 23 Jan. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/taboo/>.