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[teylz-muh n, tey-leez-muh n]
noun, plural tales·men.
  1. a person summoned as one of the tales.
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Origin of talesman

First recorded in 1670–80; tales + man1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for talesman

Historical Examples of talesman

  • The talesman, of course, inevitably replied in the negative.

    Courts and Criminals

    Arthur Train

  • The talesman in question was John Martin Kelly, a real estate salesman.

  • Not a talesman in the length and breadth of Brabant County who could swear truthfully that he had formed no opinion on the case.

    Mrs. Balfame

    Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

Word Origin and History for talesman


"reserve member of a jury," 1670s, from tales "writ ordering bystanders to serve" (late 15c.), via Anglo-French (mid-13c.), from Latin tales (in tales de circumstantibus "such persons from those standing about," a clause featured in such a writ), noun use of plural of talis "such" (see that).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper