[tal-uh n]
See more synonyms for talon on Thesaurus.com
  1. a claw, especially of a bird of prey.
  2. the shoulder on the bolt of a lock against which the key presses in sliding the bolt.
  3. Cards. the cards left over after the deal; stock.

Origin of talon

1350–1400; Middle English taloun < Anglo-French; Old French talon < Vulgar Latin *tālōn-, stem of *tālō, for Latin tālus heel
Related formstal·oned, adjectiveun·tal·oned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for talon

nail, hook

Examples from the Web for talon

Historical Examples of talon

British Dictionary definitions for talon


  1. a sharply hooked claw, esp of a bird of prey
  2. anything resembling a bird's claw
  3. the part of a lock that the key presses on when it is turned
  4. cards the pile of cards left after the deal
  5. architect another name for ogee
  6. stock exchange a printed slip attached to some bearer bonds to enable the holder to apply for a new sheet of coupons
Derived Formstaloned, adjective

Word Origin for talon

C14: from Old French: heel, from Latin tālus heel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for talon

c.1400, talounz "claws of a bird or beast," probably originally from Old French talon "heel or hinder part of the foot of a beast, or of a man, or of a shoe," from Medieval Latin talonem "heel," from Latin talus "ankle" (see talus (1)). "The extension to birds of prey, and subsequent stages, are peculiar to English" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

talon in Science


  1. One of the sharp, curved claws on a limb of a bird or other animal such as a lizard, used for seizing and tearing prey. Most talons are situated at the ends of digits.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.