castanet

noun
cas·​ta·​net | \ ˌka-stə-ˈnet How to pronounce castanet (audio) \

Definition of castanet

: a percussion instrument used especially by dancers that consists of two small shells of hard wood, ivory, or plastic usually fastened to the thumb and clicked together by the other fingers usually used in plural

Illustration of castanet

Illustration of castanet

castanets

Examples of castanet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Their structures were extremely variable—chaotic, almost, with castanet and rattling often absent. The Economist, "Birdsong Male nightingales spend the winter practising," 28 Nov. 2019 Jewish, Visigothic, Moorish, Italian, and French styles ooze into one another, jolted by castanets and tambourines. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Dallas Mixes Art and Opera, Here and in Madrid," 23 Nov. 2019 Ten small instruments, including a tambourine, a castanet and a pair of maracas, are delivered in a sturdy wooden crate. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Shop local for kids: Louisville's 5 best gift ideas for the children in your life," 18 Nov. 2019 My driver plays traditional folkloric music the entire way, telling me the metal of the castanets is meant to recall the sounds of the chains the slaves wore. National Geographic, "Music in Morocco: The ultimate sonic journey," 23 July 2019 The first movement has the sound of a Russian folk song, but following a flowing second movement, the rondo finale is a burst of Spanish color, complete with castanets. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "KC Symphony performing 'On the Waterfront' by Leonard Bernstein | The Kansas City Star," 17 Feb. 2018 The first movement has the sound of a Russian folk song, but following a flowing second movement, the rondo finale is a burst of Spanish color, complete with castanets. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "KC Symphony performing 'On the Waterfront' by Leonard Bernstein | The Kansas City Star," 17 Feb. 2018 In his production of Bizet’s classic work, which opens at the Royal Opera House here on Feb. 6 and runs through March 16, Mr. Kosky has stripped away the castanets and other clichés. Matthew Anderson, New York Times, "It’s ‘Carmen.’ But Not Like You’ve Ever Seen It.," 5 Feb. 2018 And in lieu of castanets, our drummer Claudia is playing a bicycle wheel with a playing card. Natalie Weiner, Billboard, "What Is It About The Ronettes' 'Be My Baby'? Some of the Countless Artists to Lift the Iconic Drum Beat Weigh In," 14 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'castanet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of castanet

circa 1647, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for castanet

Spanish castañeta, from castaña chestnut, from Latin castanea — more at chestnut

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Time Traveler for castanet

Time Traveler

The first known use of castanet was circa 1647

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Cite this Entry

“Castanet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/castanet. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for castanet

castanet

noun
cas·​ta·​net | \ ˌka-stə-ˈnet How to pronounce castanet (audio) \

Kids Definition of castanet

: a rhythm instrument that consists of two small flat round parts fastened to the thumb and clicked by the fingers usually used in pl.

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More from Merriam-Webster on castanet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with castanet

Spanish Central: Translation of castanet

Nglish: Translation of castanet for Spanish Speakers

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