[loo-ou, loo-ou]
a feast of Hawaiian food, usually held outdoors and usually accompanied by Hawaiian entertainment.
a cooked dish of taro leaves, usually prepared with coconut cream and octopus or chicken.

1835–45; < Hawaiian lū'au Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
luau (luːˈaʊ, ˈluːaʊ)
1.  a feast of Hawaiian food
2.  a dish of taro leaves usually prepared with coconut cream and octopus or chicken
[from Hawaiian lu'au]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1853, from Hawaiian lu'au, lit. "young taro tops," which were served at outdoor feasts.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a modern Hawaiian banquet. Luau originally denoted only the leaves of the taro plant, which are eaten as a vegetable; it came to refer to the dishes prepared with the leaves and then to the feasts at which the dishes were eaten. The term designates the modern, informal feast, as distinct from the ancient ceremonial banquets that were ritualized and attended only by men.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It simply brought indoors the technology of the luau pit or the clambake.
All that, and you don't have to sit through a bad luau.
There is more to do on the island than the stereotypical luau or hula show
  that's often marketed to tourists.
Dine at a luau dinner show or at one of the park's nine restaurants serving a
  variety of cuisines.
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