noun Cards.
a variety of rummy in which the main object is to meld sets of seven or more cards.

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
canasta (kəˈnæstə)
1.  a card game for two to six players who seek to amass points by declaring sets of cards
2.  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)
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1948, Uruguayan card game played with two decks and four jokers, popular c.1945-1965; from Sp., lit. "basket," from L. canistrum (see cannister); perhaps in reference to the "packs" of cards used.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for canasta
Many variants of canasta were created in the latter half of the twentieth century.
A canasta is a meld of at least seven cards, whether natural or wild.
Skilled players will play a wild card on an existing canasta for the win.
A team with at least one canasta gets positive points for these cards as usual.
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