Tal"ent (?), n. [F., fr. L. talentum a talent (in sense 1), Gr. a balance, anything weighed, a definite weight, a talent; akin to to bear, endure, , L. tolerare, tollere, to lift up, sustain, endure. See Thole, v. t., Tolerate.]


Among the ancient Greeks, a weight and a denomination of money equal to 60 minæ or 6,000 drachmæ. The Attic talent, as a weight, was about 57 lbs. avoirdupois; as a denomination of silver money, its value was £243 15s. sterling, or about $1,180.

Rowing vessel whose burden does not exceed five hundred talents. Jowett (Thucid.).


Among the Hebrews, a weight and denomination of money. For silver it was equivalent to 3,000 shekels, and in weight was equal to about 93 lbs. avoirdupois; as a denomination of silver, it has been variously estimated at from £340 to £396 sterling, or about $1,645 to $1,916. For gold it was equal to 10,000 gold shekels.


Inclination; will; disposition; desire.


They rather counseled you to your talent than to your profit. Chaucer.


Intellectual ability, natural or acquired; mental endowment or capacity; skill in accomplishing; a special gift, particularly in business, art, or the like; faculty; a use of the word probably originating in the Scripture parable of the talents (Matt. xxv. 14-30).

He is chiefly to be considered in his three different talents, as a critic, a satirist, and a writer of odes. Dryden.

His talents, his accomplishments, his graceful manners, made him generally popular. Macaulay.

Syn. -- Ability; faculty; gift; endowment. See Genius.


© Webster 1913.