a claw, especially of a bird of prey.
the shoulder on the bolt of a lock against which the key presses in sliding the bolt.
Cards. the cards left over after the deal; stock.

1350–1400; Middle English taloun < Anglo-French; Old French talon < Vulgar Latin *tālōn-, stem of *tālō, for Latin tālus heel

taloned, adjective
untaloned, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
talon (ˈtælən)
1.  a sharply hooked claw, esp of a bird of prey
2.  anything resembling a bird's claw
3.  the part of a lock that the key presses on when it is turned
4.  cards the pile of cards left after the deal
5.  architect another name for ogee
6.  stock exchange a printed slip attached to some bearer bonds to enable the holder to apply for a new sheet of coupons
[C14: from Old French: heel, from Latin tālus heel]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1400, talounz "claws of a bird or beast," probably originally from O.Fr. talon "heel or hinder part of the foot of a beast, or of a man, or of a shoe," from M.L. talonem "heel," from L. talus "ankle" (see talus (1)). "The extension to birds of prey, and subsequent stages,
are peculiar to English" [OED].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
talon   (tāl'ən)  Pronunciation Key 
One of the sharp, curved claws on a limb of a bird or other animal such as a lizard, used for seizing and tearing prey. Most talons are situated at the ends of digits.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


narrow, arched structure that curves downward from the end of the digit in birds, reptiles, many mammals, and some amphibians. It is a hardened (keratinized) modification of the epidermis. Claws may be adapted for scratching, clutching, digging, or climbing. By analogy, the appendages of other lower animals are frequently called claws. The claw's shape is ordinarily suited to the food-getting habit of the animal. Eagles have long, curved talons for grasping prey; the claws of chickens are short and sturdy, for scratching the ground for food.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The eagle held a little bird in one talon as it flew toward the far wooded shoreline.
Once the talon is exhausted, the game play changes somewhat in nature.
He put out a strangely distorted talon and gripped my fingers.
In his talon, the eagle is holding a clutch of arrows.
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