tal·​ent ˈta-lənt How to pronounce talent (audio)
: a special often athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude
: general intelligence or mental power : ability
: the natural endowments of a person
: a person of talent or a group of persons of talent in a field or activity
: any of several ancient units of weight
: a unit of value equal to the value of a talent of gold or silver
archaic : a characteristic feature, aptitude, or disposition of a person or animal
talented adjective
talentless adjective
Choose the Right Synonym for talent

gift, faculty, aptitude, bent, talent, genius, knack mean a special ability for doing something.

gift often implies special favor by God or nature.

the gift of singing beautifully

faculty applies to an innate or less often acquired ability for a particular accomplishment or function.

a faculty for remembering names

aptitude implies a natural liking for some activity and the likelihood of success in it.

a mechanical aptitude

bent is nearly equal to aptitude but it stresses inclination perhaps more than specific ability.

a family with an artistic bent

talent suggests a marked natural ability that needs to be developed.

has enough talent to succeed

genius suggests impressive inborn creative ability.

has no great genius for poetry

knack implies a comparatively minor but special ability making for ease and dexterity in performance.

the knack of getting along

Example Sentences

a singer with an enormous amount of talent I have no musical talent. Her artistic talent has been obvious ever since she was a child. They sang a duet in the talent show . She has a job that makes the most of her talents. His experience, skills, and talents make him perfectly suited for the job. There are many good players on the team, but she's a special talent. The company has hired some expensive legal talent for the trial. The team has recruited some of the best talent around. The company is doing a talent search to find the right person for the job. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Chugiak uses its tremendous wealth of quality talent to wear out opponents over the course of the game. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Feb. 2023 The funding aims to grow cinema audiences for U.K. independent and international film, support development of new filmmaking talent and ignite a passion for screen culture in young people. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 1 Feb. 2023 Clips reminded us of the lightness of a once-in-a-generation talent; even now, tempered by Parkinson's, Fox seems fast, funny, and unwilling to slow down. Leah Greenblatt And Joshua Rothkopf, EW.com, 1 Feb. 2023 Birth of the Modern Athlete tells the uncensored story of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, arguably the greatest collection of NBA talent on one team in history. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 31 Jan. 2023 Multiple industry experts argued that while the Academy certainly has a ways to go regarding its recognition of Black talent, that is a separate conversation from the one about Riseborough. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2023 Recognize it as a testament to the amount of high-end talent in the NBA today. Bryan Toporek, Forbes, 28 Jan. 2023 Getting a roster spot at TWU is tough because of the amount of in-state talent, but Isbell did so. Kat Cornetta, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Jan. 2023 For Benfica and Ajax, say, that has taken the form of trading continental prominence for domestic supremacy, secured thanks to a steady stream of young talent. Rory Smith, New York Times, 27 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'talent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, from Old English talente, from Latin talenta, plural of talentum unit of weight or money, from Greek talanton pan of a scale, weight; akin to Greek tlēnai to bear; in senses 3–5, from the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14–30 — more at tolerate

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

Time Traveler
The first known use of talent was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near talent

Cite this Entry

“Talent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/talent. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


tal·​ent ˈtal-ənt How to pronounce talent (audio)
: an ancient unit of weight and money
: the natural abilities of a person
: a special often athletic, creative, or artistic ability
: persons of talent in a field or activity
talented adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on talent

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