cas·​ta·​net | \ˌkas-tə-ˈnet \

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


Examples of castanet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 But the most delectable moments were those laced with Spanish flavor, with castanet and proto-flamenco rhythms. James R. Oestreich, New York Times, "Review: Is ‘Los Elementos’ Opera? That’s Beside the Point," 5 May 2017 Sandra tapped her claws like castanets, and her ligaments bulged. Elisabeth Egan,, "Algren Award runner-up: "The Lobster’s Daughter" by Leah Velez," 10 June 2017 Workshops at the annual festival include beginner to advanced classes in repertory, costuming, castanets and guitar. Washington Post, "International flamenco festival set to mark 30 years," 30 May 2017 Onstage were four timpani, a bass drum, snare drum, side drum, a large gong, cymbals, xylophone, castanets, vibraphone, glockenspiel, woodblock, whip-crack and triangle. Special To The Plain Dealer,, "ChamberFest Cleveland leaves deep impression with Shostakovich in rare transcription (review)," 30 June 2017 Workshops at the annual festival include beginner to advanced classes in repertory, costuming, castanets and guitar. Russell Contreras, The Seattle Times, "International flamenco festival set to mark 30 years," 29 May 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

The first known use of castanet was circa 1647

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More Definitions for castanet


cas·​ta·​net | \ˌka-stə-ˈnet \

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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