- 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)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for canasta
There were the Jones' for bridge and the Graysons' for canasta and charades with the Bryants.Time Enough at Last
- 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)
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
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