[ kas-tuh-net ]

  1. either of a pair of concave pieces of wood held in the palm of the hand and clicked together, usually to accompany dancing.

Origin of castanet

1640–50; <Spanish castañeta, equivalent to castañ(a) chestnut (<Latin castanea) + -eta diminutive suffix; see -et, -ette

Words Nearby castanet Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use castanet in a sentence

  • When threatened, the creatures flap furiously toward freedom, “opening and closing their shells like panicked castanets.”

  • By the end of that time his tongue was making sounds like a muffled castanet, and his resolution was scorched out of him.

    Average Jones | Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • He shook the door by the iron handle until the latch clattered like a castanet: there was no sound from within.

    Bulldog Carney | W. A. Fraser
  • Where the two were missing he carried the stem of his pipe, and when he talked the stem clicked, like a castanet.

    The Courage of Marge O'Doone | James Oliver Curwood
  • Again he clinks his metal castanet, and leads us leisurely away.

  • And now the trio was a trio of castanet smacks and cymbal claps.

    Sea and Sardinia | D. H. Lawrence