DEFINITION

adjective
: forbidden; especially : prohibited by dictate.

EXAMPLES
1. The teacher made clear on the first day of class that the use of electronic devices would be verboten.
2. “This was not, perhaps, all that surprising since marijuana remains verboten under federal law to this day….” — From a column by James Gill in The Advocate (New Orleans, Louisiana), January 30, 2014.

DID YOU KNOW?
Despite its spelling, the adjective “verboten” has nothing to do with “verb,” or any of the other words in our language related to Latin “verbum.” Rather, “verboten” comes from German, which got it from Old High German “farboten,” the past participle of the verb “farbioten,” meaning “to forbid.” (“Forbid” itself derives from Old English “forbeodan,” a relative of “farbioten.”) “Verboten,” which first appeared in English in 1916, is used to describe things that are forbidden according to a law or a highly regarded authority. There also exists a noun “verboten,” meaning “something forbidden by authority” (as in “well-established verbotens”), but this use is quite rare and is typically entered only in large, unabridged dictionaries.

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