Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A decorated container filled with candy and toys suspended from a height, intended to be broken by blindfolded children with sticks, and used as part of Christmas and birthday celebrations in certain Latin-American countries or at children's parties.
  • noun A frequent object or victim of ongoing criticism or abuse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun See Spanish meaning.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Spanish, from Italian pignatta, a kind of pot, probably from dialectal pigna, pine cone (from its shape), from Latin pīnea; see pineal.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish piñata, from piña, from Latin pinea ("pinecone"), because its paper cover (on traditional making) resembles one.

Examples

    Sorry, no example sentences found.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • My mother volunteers at a wildlife sanctuary. Among other things, they prepare what the last vollie newsletter described as devil piñatas for Tasmanian devils and dingoes. It's a papier mache (on a balloon) carcass stuffed with something edible - uh, Devil-Chow I presume - and left in the animals' enclosure for them to discover and tear apart.

    About the best web reference I can find for this use of the term is here. Scroll down to the Sep 23 blog entry which describes the practice and shows some students making piñatas.

    October 21, 2011

  • That sounds wonderful.

    October 21, 2011

  • *added to The Not Necessarily Complete Adventures of Bilby the Wordnik*

    October 25, 2011