Definition of talisman in US English:

talisman

noun

  • An object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.

    • ‘The Danes have left Wessex, and have set up in Lundenwic, and have sworn on their most sacred talismans to leave us.’
    • ‘The door was shut and sealed with charms and talismans to keep away evil spirits or in this case, those who might want to steal the elemental gem inside.’
    • ‘The book is a magical talisman, and it remains to be seen whether the luck it brings is good or bad.’
    • ‘To defend themselves, people turned to the usual battery of magical charms and talismans.’
    • ‘And there was to end of talismans, charms and spells that could be purchased from the local wise woman or apothecary.’
    • ‘Dressed in purple robes, he cast a spell invoking the elements of earth, air, water and fire and threw a talisman into the murky loch.’
    • ‘Poppies and fruit are indeterminate symbols with a practical purpose, mysterious talismans with the power to ward off subsequent suffering.’
    • ‘The shop Goya on Calle Jimenez sells toad talismans, owl feathers, stone amulets, candles, gems, and soaps.’
    • ‘While on his quest for the 12 talismans, Jackie discovers that each one has unique mystical powers, which are bestowed upon its holder.’
    • ‘Tattooed crosses, icons and parts of the Sacred Land are all talismans and amulets which are treasured with respect.’
    • ‘Making a face, Ethan dug into his jacket pockets, producing an astounding array of charms, talismans, herbs, and potions in corked test-tubes.’
    • ‘The psychological aspects of healing through the use of rituals, prayers, charms and talismans represent another aspect of traditional herbal shamanism.’
    • ‘Lucky charms, amulets, and talismans have been found in virtually all civilizations throughout recorded history.’
    • ‘Animal figures are talismans that endow the wearer with the animal's power and prowess.’
    • ‘Songstones were placed along the borders of the villages of the songweavers, and their strange powers made them effective talismans for warding off danger.’
    • ‘A section on healing focused on charms, talismans and rituals of herbal medicine.’
    • ‘He appeared before Portsmouth Magistrates yesterday dressed in a green robe, blue cloak and with talismans around his neck.’
    • ‘Members of the Banu Sa'd al-Din, a prominent Sufi family in Damascus, made talismans and charms which could reportedly heal the sick and cure the insane.’
    • ‘Everything from pentacles and talismans to cloaks and incense can be found here at very reasonable prices!’
    • ‘I wouldn't say that I performed any rituals, per se, but I was on the lookout for talismans, good luck charms - I was big on minerals, and took to wearing jewelry.’
    lucky charm, charm, fetish, amulet, mascot, totem, idol, juju, phylactery
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 17th century: based on Arabic ṭilsam, apparently from an alteration of late Greek telesma ‘completion, religious rite’, from telein ‘complete, perform a rite’, from telos ‘result, end’.

Pronunciation