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late 13c., "inclination, disposition, will, desire," from Old French talent, from Medieval Latin talenta, plural of talentum "inclination, leaning, will, desire" (1098), in classical Latin "balance, weight, sum of money," from Greek talanton "balance, weight, sum," from PIE *tel-, *tol- "to bear, carry" (see extol).
Originally an ancient unit of weight or money (varying greatly and attested in Old English as talente), the Medieval Latin and common Romanic sense developed from figurative use of the word in the sense of "money." Meaning "special natural ability, aptitude," developed mid-14c., from the parable of the talents in Matt. xxv:14-30. Related: Talented.
of silver contained 3,000 shekels (Ex. 38:25, 26), and was equal to 94 3/7 lbs. avoirdupois. The Greek talent, however, as in the LXX., was only 82 1/4 lbs. It was in the form of a circular mass, as the Hebrew name _kikkar_ denotes. A talent of gold was double the weight of a talent of silver (2 Sam. 12:30). Parable of the talents (Matt. 18:24; 25:15).