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

Other Words from talon

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

Examples of talon in a Sentence

The hawk gripped the mouse in its talons.
Recent Examples on the Web Whereas most mass faux nails are available in one length and shape (talon-like), Olive & June is ushering an ear of bespoke press-ons that fit every mani mood. Karina Hoshikawa, refinery29.com, 3 Nov. 2021 The hundreds of thousands of acrylic nails used for the structure vary in size, from tiny toenail length to rectangular talon. New York Times, 26 Oct. 2021 Corrin paired the strapless custom Miu Miu gown with black, talon-like fingernails and a clean makeup look. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, 19 Sep. 2021 The manicures at Iris Van Herpen—dreamed up by nail artist Eichi Matsunaga—were, essentially, wearable water, a cascade of fashioned droplets extending from each translucent talon. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 11 July 2021 Henson's nails are equally as extensive with pointed talon-like tips adorned with gems. Devon Abelman, Allure, 27 June 2021 Raptors are by nature defensive, and an untrained visitor likely couldn’t exit an aviary without talon marks. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Apr. 2021 In the right talon is the trident, which symbolizes Neptune, the Roman God of the sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 21 Oct. 2020 All 16 feet had the talon removed from each toe and were left in tall grass just off the sidewalk, said the Wildlife Service, which is being assisted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the investigation. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, 17 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Learn More About talon

Time Traveler for talon

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near talon




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for talon

Last Updated

7 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Talon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/talon. Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for talon



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

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!