Meaning of heiau in English:


Pronunciation /ˈheɪəʊ/

nounplural noun heiau, plural noun heiaus

  • An ancient Hawaiian temple or sacred site.

    ‘Because it is the youngest in the chain, it holds open many windows to the past, through heiaus or ancient temples, a sacred ‘place of refuge,’ and petroglyphs - messages from the ancients carved into the lava flows.’
    • ‘The largest were heiau waikaua, or war temples, at which sacrifices occurred.’
    • ‘The heiau, on the island of Hawaii's windswept northern tip, is one of several important sites that make the Big Island the state's most visible repository of traditional native culture.’
    • ‘Turn left just before Upolu Airport and drive 2 miles on the cinder road; the heiau is on a rise to the left.’
    • ‘Since many of the places mentioned are vital to contemporary Hawaii's spirit and culture - many heiau, for example, are used for active worship - it's important to observe some rules of etiquette.’