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[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.
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Examples from the Web for talismanic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So talismanic is the touch of love, so inspiring and life giving!

    The World As I Have Found It Mary L. Day Arms
  • The word was talismanic to Dalton, connected, as it was, in his mind with but one subject.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever
  • We must not omit to notice the Caduceus, which forms, it is said, one of the most striking examples of the talismanic serpent.

    Ophiolatreia Anonymous
  • They are ancient, and were perhaps used as talismanic copies of Nehushtan.

    The Expositor's Bible F. W. Farrar
  • A ring considered to possess some healing or talismanic virtues was also termed, in medival Latin, vertuosus.

    Finger-Ring Lore William Jones
  • Several pillars were tried before the talismanic one was discovered.

  • The talismanic diamond flashed or waned, and fiercely wriggled the little fighting serpents.

    Idolatry Julian Hawthorne
  • It is set all round with precious stones of talismanic virtues.

    Finger-Ring Lore William Jones
  • This is their living hope, their talismanic treasure—and now Jaikef gave the secret away.

    Tales From Jkai Mr Jkai
British Dictionary definitions for talismanic


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
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Word Origin and History for talismanic



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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