a game of chance, adapted from lotto for gambling purposes.

Origin of keno

1805–15, Americanism; < French quine five (winning numbers) (≪ Latin quinī five each) + (lott)o Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for keno

Historical Examples of keno

  • With that in his mind, he mounted—and turned Keno's head toward Hartley.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • He went down to the stable, started to saddle Keno, and then decided that he would not.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • A week has rolled into the past since the event at the Keno den.

    An Outcast

    F. Colburn Adams

  • His horse had disappeared, but Curly helped him to the back of Keno.

    Crooked Trails and Straight

    William MacLeod Raine

  • There's a sight of talk about the doin's of them faro an' keno sharps.

British Dictionary definitions for keno


keeno, kino or quino


US and Canadian a game of chance similar to bingo

Word Origin for keno

C19: of unknown origin
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 keno

game of chance (akin to bingo), 1814, American English, probably from French quine "five winning numbers in a lottery," from Latin quini "five each," distributive of quinque "five" (see five). The numbers are arranged in rows of five.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper