1 of 2

noun (1)

ta·​la ˈtä-lə How to pronounce tala (audio)
: one of the ancient traditional rhythmic patterns of South Asian music compare raga


2 of 2

noun (2)

ta·​la ˈtä-lə How to pronounce tala (audio)
plural tala or talas
the basic monetary unit of Samoa see Money Table

Examples of tala in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
We are introduced to the building blocks of various music traditions, such as the raga and tala in Indian classical music. John Check, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2023 Both also share certain melodic modes and deviously subdivided rhythmic patterns or cycles — known, respectively, as ragas and talas — that sound distinctly different from each other. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tala.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Sanskrit tāla, literally, hand-clapping

Noun (2)

Samoan, from English dollar

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1891, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1967, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tala was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near tala

Cite this Entry

“Tala.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tala. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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