noun Cards.

  1. a variety of rummy in which the main object is to meld sets of seven or more cards.


  1. a card game for two to six players who seek to amass points by declaring sets of cards
  2. Also called: meld a declared set in this game, containing seven or more like cards, worth 500 points if the canasta is pure or 300 if wild (containing up to three jokers)

1948, Uruguayan card game played with two decks and four jokers, popular c.1945-1965; from Spanish, literally “basket,” from Latin canistrum (see cannister); perhaps in reference to the “packs” of cards used.

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