[peen-yah-tuh, pin-yah-; Spanish pee-nyah-tah]
noun, plural piñatas [peen-yah-tuhz, pin-yah-; Spanish pee-nyah-tahs] .
(in Mexico and Central America) a gaily decorated crock or papier-mâché figure filled with toys, candy, etc., and suspended from above, especially during Christmas or birthday festivities, so that children, who are blindfolded, may break it or knock it down with sticks and release the contents.

1885–90; < Spanish: literally, pot < Italian pignatta, probably derivative of dial. pigna pinecone (from the pot's shape) < Latin pīnea, noun use of feminine of pīneus of the pine tree; see pine1, -eous

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World English Dictionary
piñata (ˌpɪnˈjata)
a papier-mâché party decoration filled with sweets, hung up during parties, and struck with a stick until it breaks open
[Spanish, from Italian pignatta, probably from dialect pigna, from Latin pinea pine cone]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

from Mex.Sp. piñata, in Sp. lit. "jug, pot," utl. from L. pinea "pine cone," from pinus (see pine (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Now the brain boys are taking a whack at the pinata.
But here's the thing about a pinata, it doesn't open on it's own, you have to
  beat it with a stick.
Some of them a little too much, such as this poor pinata whose candy has
  spilled onto the hospital floor.
The posada festivities reach a peak with the breaking of a pinata.
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