from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment.
  • noun Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality.
  • noun A person or group of people having such ability.
  • noun A variable unit of weight and money used in ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle East.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To ondow with talents.
  • noun An ancient denomination of weight, originally Babylonian (though the name is Greek), and varying widely in value among different peoples and at different times.
  • noun Money; wealth; property in general.
  • noun Hence, a wealth; an abundance (as in the phrase ‘a wealth of golden hair’); or, perhaps, gold (i. e. ‘golden tresses’).
  • noun A gift committed to one for use and improvement: so called in allusion to the parable of the talents (Mat. xxv.); hence, a peculiar faculty, endowment, or aptitude; a capacity for achievement or success.
  • noun Mental power of a superior order; superior intelligence; special aptitude; abilities; parts: often noting power or skill acquired by cultivation, and thus contrasted with genius. See genius, 5.
  • noun Hence, persons of ability collectively: as, all the talent of the country is enlisted in the cause.
  • noun A distinctive feature, quality, habit, or the like; a characteristic.
  • noun Disposition; inclination; will; desire.
  • noun Synonyms Abilities, Gifts, Parts, etc. See genius.
  • noun An obsolete or dialectal variant of talon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Among the ancient Greeks, a weight and a denomination of money equal to 60 minæ or 6,000 drachmæ. The Attic talent, as a weight, was about 57 lbs. avoirdupois; as a denomination of silver money, its value was £243 15s. sterling, or about $1,180.
  • noun Among the Hebrews, a weight and denomination of money. For silver it was equivalent to 3,000 shekels, and in weight was equal to about 93� lbs. avoirdupois; as a denomination of silver, it has been variously estimated at from £340 to £396 sterling, or about $1,645 to $1,916. For gold it was equal to 10,000 gold shekels.
  • noun obsolete Inclination; will; disposition; desire.
  • noun Intellectual ability, natural or acquired; mental endowment or capacity; skill in accomplishing; a special gift, particularly in business, art, or the like; faculty; a use of the word probably originating in the Scripture parable of the talents (Matt. xxv. 14-30).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a person who possesses unusual innate ability in some field or activity
  • noun natural abilities or qualities


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, inclination, disposition, from Old French, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, balance, sum of money, from Greek talanton; see telə- in Indo-European roots. Sense 3, Middle English, from Old English talente, from Latin talenta, pl. of talentum, from Greek talanton.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English talente, from plural of Latin talentum ("a Grecian weight; a talent of money"), from Ancient Greek τάλαντον (talanton, "balance, a particular weight, especially of gold, sum of money, a talent"). Later senses reinforced by Old French talent ("a talent, also will, inclination, desire").


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    June 17, 2008

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    April 7, 2011