noun tal·ent \ ˈta-lənt \
|Updated on: 15 Jul 2018

Definition of talent

1 a : a special often athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude
b : general intelligence or mental power : ability
2 : the natural endowments of a person
3 : a person of talent or a group of persons of talent in a field or activity
4 a : any of several ancient units of weight
b : a unit of value equal to the value of a talent of gold or silver
5 archaic : a characteristic feature, aptitude, or disposition of a person or animal


play \ˈta-lən-təd\ adjective


play \ˈta-lənt-ləs\ adjective

Examples of talent in a Sentence

  1. a singer with an enormous amount of talent

  2. I have no musical talent.

  3. Her artistic talent has been obvious ever since she was a child.

  4. They sang a duet in the talent show .

  5. She has a job that makes the most of her talents.

  6. His experience, skills, and talents make him perfectly suited for the job.

  7. There are many good players on the team, but she's a special talent.

  8. The company has hired some expensive legal talent for the trial.

  9. The team has recruited some of the best talent around.

  10. The company is doing a talent search to find the right person for the job.

Recent Examples of talent from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of talent

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

TALENT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of talent for English Language Learners

  • : a special ability that allows someone to do something well

  • : a person or group of people with a special ability to do something well : a talented person or group

  • : people who are sexually attractive

TALENT Defined for Kids


noun tal·ent \ ˈta-lənt \

Definition of talent for Students

1 : unusual natural ability
  • … Toby had a special talent for getting people off the hook by making the teacher laugh.
  • —Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Egypt Game
2 : a special often creative or artistic ability
3 : a person or group of people having special ability


\ˈta-lən-təd\ adjective

History for talent

Talent was the name of a unit of weight and money in the ancient world. The Christian Bible has a story about a man who gave three servants talents to keep for him while he was away. The first two servants invested their money and doubled it. The third hid the talent he had been given in the ground. When the master returned, he praised the first two servants. But he scolded the third, who could give back only what he had been given. The meaning of the story is that people should make good use of their natural gifts. From this story came a new meaning of talent: “special gift.”

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to beat or defeat soundly

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