(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.
Kendall, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.
Amit, Vered, ed. 2004. Biographical Dictionary of Social and Cultural Anthropology. London: Routledge.
Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Bryant, Clifton D., and Dennis L. Peck, eds. 2007. 21st Century Sociology: A Reference Handbook. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.
Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.
Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).
Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.
Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Shepard, Jon M., and Robert W. Greene. 2003. Sociology and You. New York: Glencoe.
Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
How to Cite the Definition of Taboo
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “taboo.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 26, 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 March 26, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/taboo/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“taboo.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 26 Mar. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/taboo/>.