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talon

[tal-uh n] /ˈtæl ən/
noun
1.
a claw, especially of a bird of prey.
2.
the shoulder on the bolt of a lock against which the key presses in sliding the bolt.
3.
Cards. the cards left over after the deal; stock.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English taloun < Anglo-French; Old French talon < Vulgar Latin *tālōn-, stem of *tālō, for Latin tālus heel
Related forms
taloned, adjective
untaloned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for talon
  • The eagle held a little bird in one talon as it flew toward the far wooded shoreline.
  • He put out a strangely distorted talon and gripped my fingers.
  • In his talon, the eagle is holding a clutch of arrows.
  • Once the talon is exhausted, the game play changes somewhat in nature.
British Dictionary definitions for talon

talon

/ˈtælən/
noun
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
Derived Forms
taloned, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French: heel, from Latin tālus heel
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 talon
n.

c.1400, talounz "claws of a bird or beast," probably originally from Old French talon "heel or hinder part of the foot of a beast, or of a man, or of a shoe," from Medieval Latin talonem "heel," from Latin 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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talon in Science
talon
  (tāl'ən)   
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 Article for talon

claw

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.

Learn more about claw with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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