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 An errant pigeon, buffeted toward my head by a sudden gust of wind, thrusts out its scaly talons like an airplane seeking a runway. Cassandra Landry, SFChronicle.com, "Inside the astrology craze: The search for self in the new New Age.," 24 Oct. 2019 The eagle symbolizes the air and holds an item in each talon. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Understanding “The Budweiser”: The History of the Navy SEAL Trident," 26 Nov. 2019 Then there’s Puerto Rican Latin-trap rapper Bad Bunny, who, throughout his rapid rise, has served up a dizzying array of vivid talons. Vogue, "From David Bowie to A$AP Rocky, the Famous Men Who Have Made Nail Art Their Beauty Signature," 15 Nov. 2019 At first these talons seemed like isolated examples. Megan Gannon, Smithsonian, "Eagle Talon Jewelry Suggests Neanderthals Were Capable of Human-Like Thought," 2 Nov. 2019 The two made a plan to put on gloves and throw a couple of garments over them and try to untangle their talons. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "Apple Valley police called to untangle fighting bald eagles," 22 Oct. 2019 By the 1970s, the alcohol industry had sunk its talons into Gallup, propping up dozens of liquor stores. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Jake Skeets Finds the Beauty in Brutality," 30 Sep. 2019 In Croatia Neandertals harvested eagle talons and made them into necklaces. Kate Wong, Scientific American, "Ancient Cave Paintings Clinch the Case for Neandertal Symbolism," 23 Feb. 2018 While answering a question about his mullet during his senior season with the Hurricanes, Gauthier told reporters that a bald eagle cut it with its talons. Nick Kelly, BostonGlobe.com, "Patriots undrafted player nuggets," 30 July 2019

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 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Talon.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/talons. Accessed 23 January 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with talon

Spanish Central: Translation of talon

Nglish: Translation of talon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of talon for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about talon

Comments on talon

What made you want to look up talon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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