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

Examples of talent in a Sentence

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 According to a post by Louis Vuitton, the luxury line dressed the star for an event celebrating the cinematic arts and the talent of its House Ambassadors. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 Ghana, of all places, is a major growth market for the NFL, and featured in an inspiring 2-minute spot aired in the Super Bowl, highlighting growth in the game around the globe and the search for international talent. Jon Bird, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius. Zack Sharf, Variety, 13 Feb. 2024 Josephine Lee’s figure skating talent is obvious to even the most casual observer. Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times, 12 Feb. 2024 While the festival title says jazz, numerous stages showcase the best local and national talent across every music genre (jazz, pop, hip-hop, gospel, bluegrass, rock, etc.) over two weekends. Ronny Maye, Essence, 12 Feb. 2024 Their insights are crucial in guiding, supporting, and nurturing artistic talent. Vogue, 12 Feb. 2024 While established artists often compete for a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and Billboard 200 albums ranking, which track the most popular songs and albums of the week, respectively, up-and-coming talents typically start off on genre-specific lists. Xander Zellner, Billboard, 31 Jan. 2024 Agents who have worked closely with Stuber in recent years expect that his track record and ties to talent will help him in his new endeavor. Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

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

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 25 Feb. 2024.

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

Middle English talent "an ancient unit of weight and money"; in sense 1 from Old English talente (same meaning), from Latin talenta, plural of talentum "unit of weight or money," from Greek talanton "pan of a scale, weight"; in senses 2–4 so called from the parable of the talents told by Jesus (Matthew 25:14–30)

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