1638. [= F., Sp. talisman, It. talismano, ad. MGr. τέλεσμαν = Gr. τέλεσμα]
I. A stone, ring, or other object engraven with figures or characters, to which are attributed the occult powers of the planetary influences and celestial configurations under which it was made; usu. worn as an amulet to avert evil from or bring fortune to the wearer ; also, used medicinally to impart healing virtue; hence, any object held to be endowed with magic virtue; a charm.
2. fig. Anything that acts as a charm or by which extraordinary results are achieved (1784)