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talisman

[tal-is-muh n, -iz-] /ˈtæl ɪs mən, -ɪz-/
noun, plural talismans.
1.
a stone, ring, or other object, engraved with figures or characters supposed to possess occult powers and worn as an amulet or charm.
2.
any amulet or charm.
3.
anything whose presence exercises a remarkable or powerful influence on human feelings or actions.
Origin
1630-1640
1630-40; < French or SpanishArabic ṭilasm < Greek télesma payment, equivalent to teles- (variant stem of teleîn to complete, perform) + -ma noun suffix of result
Related forms
talismanic
[tal-is-man-ik, -iz-] /ˌtæl ɪsˈmæn ɪk, -ɪz-/ (Show IPA),
talismanical, adjective
talismanically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for talisman
  • The words have become a weird talisman and are applied way, way out of context.
  • He likes to illustrate the point with an ancient talisman of the hypnotic trade: the pocket watch hanging on a chain.
  • It was accessorized by the ultimate talisman of middle-school innocence, a headband.
  • And dissidents everywhere now have a stirring precedent and talisman to invoke.
British Dictionary definitions for talisman

talisman

/ˈtælɪzmən/
noun (pl) -mans
1.
a stone or other small object, usually inscribed or carved, believed to protect the wearer from evil influences
2.
anything thought to have magical or protective powers
Derived Forms
talismanic (ˌtælɪzˈmænɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: via French or Spanish from Arabic tilsam, from Medieval Greek telesma ritual, from Greek: consecration, from telein to perform a rite, complete, from telos end, result
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 talisman
n.

1630s, from French talisman, in part via Arabic tilsam (plural tilsaman), a Greek loan-word; in part directly from Byzantine Greek telesma "talisman, religious rite, payment," earlier "consecration, ceremony," originally "completion," from telein "perform (religious rites), pay (tax), fulfill," from telos "completion, end, tax" (see tele-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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