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

Example Sentences

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 The Cardinals could use more talent and experience now that Montgomery, Abdullah and Sanogo are gone. Alexis Cubit, The Courier-Journal, 20 Jan. 2023 Some boards have begun matching directors with specific skills to their counterpart executives, so board members can help develop and mentor talent while gaining deeper insight into the company’s executive ranks. Lila Maclellan, Fortune, 20 Jan. 2023 Having talent certainly helps, but there’s an unmistakable swagger that this young Memphis team brings to the arena every night. Michael Arinze, Chicago Tribune, 20 Jan. 2023 In many ways, Margot Robbie is strikingly similar to her character in Babylon — both possess the inherent drive, ambition and undeniable acting talent needed to make it to the big screen. Alicia Vrajlal, refinery29.com, 20 Jan. 2023 Against the Rangers, who have talent and skill and plenty of playoff dreams of their own, Swayman stepped up a notch. Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Jan. 2023 There’s nothing quite like a Broadway show—and all of the grandeur and talent that comes with it. Amy Eisinger, M.a., SELF, 20 Jan. 2023 Teams may ding Miller for being a 20-year-old freshman, but the Alabama guard's skill as an offensive talent is undeniable. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 19 Jan. 2023 Crosby performs Monday at the Balboa Theater with his talent-rich Lighthouse band mates: Michelle Willis, 31; Becca Stevens, 34; and Michael League, also 34. San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

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 2 Feb. 2023.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on talent

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