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[kuh-nas-tuh] /kəˈnæs tə/
noun, Cards.
a variety of rummy in which the main object is to meld sets of seven or more cards.
Origin of canasta
1945-50; < Spanish: literally, basket, apparently variant of canastro < Greek kánastron wicker basket (see canister) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for canasta
Historical Examples
  • There were the Jones' for bridge and the Graysons' for canasta and charades with the Bryants.

    Time Enough at Last Lyn Venable
British Dictionary definitions for canasta


a card game for two to six players who seek to amass points by declaring sets of cards
Also called meld. a declared set in this game, containing seven or more like cards, worth 500 points if the canasta is pure or 300 if wild (containing up to three jokers)
Word Origin
C20: from Spanish: basket (because two packs, or a basketful, of cards are required), variant of canastro, from Latin canistrum; see canister
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
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Word Origin and History for canasta

1948, Uruguayan card game played with two decks and four jokers, popular c.1945-1965; from Spanish, literally "basket," from Latin canistrum (see cannister); perhaps in reference to the "packs" of cards used.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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