[ kee-nel-uh, kwi- ]
/ kiˈnɛl ə, kwɪ- /


a type of bet, especially on horse races, in which the bettor, in order to win, must select the first- and second-place finishers without specifying their order of finishing.
a race in which such bets are made.

Nearby words

  1. quindecagon,
  2. quindecaplet,
  3. quindecennial,
  4. quindecillion,
  5. quine,
  6. quinestrol,
  7. quinhydrone,
  8. quinic acid,
  9. quinidine,
  10. quiniela

Also qui·nel·a, quiniela.

Compare exacta.

Origin of quinella

1940–45, Americanism; < American Spanish quiniela, equivalent to Spanish quin(a) (< French quine keno) + -iela noun suffix

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for quinela


/ (kwɪˈnɛlə) /


Australian and NZ a form of betting on a horse race in which the punter bets on selecting the first and second place-winners in any order

Word Origin for quinella

from American Spanish quiniela a game of chance

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 quinela



form of betting in which the bettor picks the first and second horses in a given race, 1942, American English, from American Spanish quiniela, originally a ball game with five players, from Latin quini "five each," from quinque "five" (see quinque-). The sense evolution in Spanish was said to be from the game to a wager on the scores of the players, hence "any wager against the house."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper