a. The claw of a bird of prey.
b. The similar claw of a predatory animal.
2. Something similar to or suggestive of an animal's claw.
3. The part of a lock that the key presses in order to shoot the bolt.
4. Games The part of the deck of cards in certain card games left on the table after the deal.
5. Architecture An ogee molding.
[Middle English taloun, from Old French talon, heel, from Vulgar Latin *tālō, tālōn-, from Latin tālus, ankle.]
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.