Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[tal-is-muh n, -iz-] /ˈtæl ɪs mən, -ɪz-/
noun, plural talismans.
a stone, ring, or other object, engraved with figures or characters supposed to possess occult powers and worn as an amulet or charm.
any amulet or charm.
anything whose presence exercises a remarkable or powerful influence on human feelings or actions.
Origin of talisman
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
[tal-is-man-ik, -iz-] /ˌtæl ɪsˈmæn ɪk, -ɪz-/ (Show IPA),
talismanical, adjective
talismanically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for talisman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But for the talisman, he would never have seen the notice, and a little shiver ran through him as he thought of this.

  • But Simba was replacing carefully the talisman in its wrappings.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • She had a laminated press-pass out in her free hand and was holding it up beside her head like a talisman.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • Variety is the talisman by which she commands all hearts and gained her monarch's.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • Such is the tradition concerning the talisman, which the author has taken the liberty to vary in applying it to his own purposes.

    The Talisman Sir Walter Scott
  • Aladdin's key could not have caused more surprise than this talisman.

  • The talisman, instead of establishing a river connection with the Mississippi River cities, never came back.

British Dictionary definitions for talisman


noun (pl) -mans
a stone or other small object, usually inscribed or carved, believed to protect the wearer from evil influences
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for talisman

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for talisman

Scrabble Words With Friends