a. A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment: has a rare talent for music.
b. Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality: The play has a cast of immense talent.
c. A person or group of people having such ability: The company makes good use of its talent.
2. A variable unit of weight and money used in ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle East.
[Middle English, inclination, disposition, from Old French, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, balance, sum of money, from Greek talanton; see telə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. Sense 3, Middle English, from Old English talente, from Latin talenta, pl. of talentum, from Greek talanton.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.