tal·​on | \ ˈta-lən How to pronounce talon (audio) \

Definition of talon

1a : the claw of an animal and especially of a bird of prey
b : a finger or hand of a human being
2 : a part or object shaped like or suggestive of a heel or claw: such as
a : an ogee molding
b : the shoulder of the bolt of a lock on which the key acts to shoot the bolt
3a : cards laid aside in a pile in solitaire

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Other Words from talon

taloned \ ˈta-​lənd How to pronounce taloned (audio) \ adjective

Examples of talon in a Sentence

The hawk gripped the mouse in its talons.
Recent Examples on the Web In the right talon is the trident, which symbolizes Neptune, the Roman God of the sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Behind the “Budweiser”: A Brief History of the Navy SEAL Trident," 21 Oct. 2020 For a larger bird like a hawk or woodpecker that might try to sink a beak or talon into your skin, call in an expert right away. Purbita Saha, Popular Science, "How to help an injured bird," 15 Oct. 2020 There’s increasing evidence that Neanderthals painted their bodies and used bird feathers and talons for ornaments—practices that might have allowed them to quickly gauge whether an approaching hominin was a member of their group or an outsider. Popular Science, "Paleontologists have identified the earliest evidence of Homo sapiens in Europe," 13 May 2020 In the right talon is the trident, which symbolizes Neptune, the Roman God of the sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Understanding “The Budweiser”: The History of the Navy SEAL Trident," 26 Nov. 2019 In Collins’ proposal, the talons were extended toward the surface, an image Gilruth considered too warlike. Jamie Turner, cleveland.com, "11 things you might not know about Apollo 11 and the Space Race: Apollo 11 at 50," 17 July 2019 Chase plunged like a fighter jet from his rocky perch at 49 miles per hour — as tracked by a small GPS transmitter pinned to his tail — to grab the faux prey with his talons. Kate Donnelly, Travel + Leisure, "Discover the Thrill of Falconry at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs," 22 Apr. 2020 Sumi Lee, who owns SSum Art Studio in Seoul's Gangnam area, is also known for her talon-like creations. Devon Abelman, Allure, "7 of the Top Nail Trends in South Korea," 14 Apr. 2020 Indeed, this is a perfect opportunity to snatch these companies from clutching talons of profit-crazed financiers and executives, and restructure their business practices towards actual production. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "How to bail out businesses without giving billions to Wall Street looters," 18 Mar. 2020

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

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First Known Use of talon

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for talon

Middle English taloun heel, hind claw of a bird of prey, from Anglo-French talun, from Vulgar Latin *talon-, *talo, from Latin talus ankle, anklebone

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Time Traveler for talon

Time Traveler

The first known use of talon was in the 15th century

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Statistics for talon

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Talon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/talon. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for talon


How to pronounce talon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of talon

: one of the sharp claws on the feet of some birds


tal·​on | \ ˈta-lən How to pronounce talon (audio) \

Kids Definition of talon

: the claw of a bird of prey

Other Words from talon

taloned \ -​ənd \ adjective


tal·​on | \ ˈtal-ən How to pronounce talon (audio) \

Medical Definition of talon

: the crushing region of the crown of an upper molar

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More from Merriam-Webster on talon

Nglish: Translation of talon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of talon for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about talon

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