ca·​nas·​ta kə-ˈna-stə How to pronounce canasta (audio)
: a form of rummy using two full decks in which players or partnerships try to meld groups of three or more cards of the same rank and score bonuses for 7-card melds
: a meld of seven cards of the same rank in canasta

Examples of canasta in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Plus, coordinating two decks is a stylish way to play certain games—canasta, anyone? Belle Duchene, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Aug. 2023 Few people would brag about owning these road crushers, which were relegated mostly to winter but when more respectable types were stuck at home playing canasta. Martin Padgett Jr., Car and Driver, 2 Aug. 2023 Nursing a canasta defeat nearby, Jacque Deuser, 67, said the way Mr. Biden sometimes walked reminded her of her late husband, who had dementia. Katie Glueck, New York Times, 22 Apr. 2023 Then, Sister Thomas Marie Wadowski, who relished a game of canasta and telling of her second-grade class that won a contest to create a Campbell's Soup commercial, and Sister Mary Patricia Pyszynski, who taught in 13 schools across Michigan in six decades as an educator. Matt Sedensky, Star Tribune, 8 Apr. 2021 Just after lunch on weekdays at Anchorage Senior Activity Center, a group of women settles into a cluster of tables in the lobby to play Skip-Bo, dominoes and canasta. Julia O'Malley, Anchorage Daily News, 17 June 2022 After all, the Italian variety tends to elicit memories of that mauve syrupy schlock nonnas drink playing canasta. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 Sep. 2021 The senior center opened June 1 with activities like bridge, bingo, mahjong and canasta at the Highland Park Country Club. Steve Sadin,, 29 June 2021 If Monday proved anything, it’s that the Spurs’ older players are not quite ready to hang up their high-tops for a life of shuffleboard and canasta. Jeff McDonald,, 18 Jan. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'canasta.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish, literally, basket

First Known Use

1948, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of canasta was in 1948

Dictionary Entries Near canasta

Cite this Entry

“Canasta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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