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[tal-uh nt] /ˈtæl ənt/
a special natural ability or aptitude:
a talent for drawing.
a capacity for achievement or success; ability:
young men of talent.
a talented person:
The cast includes many of the theater's major talents.
a group of persons with special ability:
an exhibition of watercolors by the local talent.
Movies and Television. professional actors collectively, especially star performers.
a power of mind or body considered as given to a person for use and improvement: so called from the parable in Matt. 25:14–30.
any of various ancient units of weight, as a unit of Palestine and Syria equal to 3000 shekels, or a unit of Greece equal to 6000 drachmas.
any of various ancient Hebrew or Attic monetary units equal in value to that of a talent weight of gold, silver, or other metal.
Obsolete. inclination or disposition.
before 900; Middle English, Old English talente < Latin talenta, plural of talentum < Greek tálanton balance, weight, monetary unit
1. capability, gift, genius. See ability. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for talents
  • He wrote also a variety of other articles highly creditable to his talents and character, among them a few pieces of poetry.
  • She will give play to her tastes, her talents and her ambitions.
  • They had even talents and accomplishments, which made them occasionally useful and entertaining.
  • But beyond these similarities of character there is room enough for the display of different temperaments and personal talents.
  • If his talents were universal, his sympathy was not less so.
  • It was not till he was well advanced in middle life that he obtained an opportunity of showing his great talents.
  • The capacity for neurosis is really only the reverse side of his talents and gifts.
  • The saint was endued with great natural talents, which he had improved by study and contemplation.
  • The talents and virtues which were displayed in that great struggle were a sure presage of all that has since followed.
  • But my thoughts quickly veered from the teams' talents to the places from which they hail.
British Dictionary definitions for talents


innate ability, aptitude, or faculty, esp when unspecified; above average ability: a talent for cooking, a child with talent
a person or persons possessing such ability
any of various ancient units of weight and money
(informal) members of the opposite sex collectively, esp those living in a particular place: the local talent
an obsolete word for inclination
Derived Forms
talented, adjective
Word Origin
Old English talente, from Latin talenta, pl of talentum sum of money, from Greek talanton unit of money or weight; in Medieval Latin the sense was extended to ability through the influence of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14–30)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for talents



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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talents in the Bible

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).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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