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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n castanets a percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood or bone (usually held between the thumb and fingers) that are made to click together (as by Spanish dancers) in rhythm with the dance
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Castanets Two small, concave shells of ivory or hard wood, shaped like spoons, fastened to the thumb, and beaten together with the middle finger; -- used by the Spaniards and Moors as an accompaniment to their dance and guitars.☞ The singular, castanet, is used of one of the pair, or, sometimes, of the pair forming the instrument. "The dancer, holding a castanet in each hand, rattles them to the motion of his feet."
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. castagnettes, Sp. castañetas, fr. L. castanea,Sp. castaña,) a chestnut. So named from the resemblance to two chestnuts, or because chestnuts were first used for castanets. See Chestnut


In literature:

Dawn had broken, though the sun was not yet up, and Colin shivered with the wakening and the cold, his teeth chattering like castanets.
"The Boy With the U. S. Fisheries" by Francis Rolt-Wheeler
Keep the castanet rattling and then I will remember.
"The Black Cross" by Olive M. Briggs
There was Mount Aigoal, the stronghold of Castanet.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition" by Robert Louis Stevenson
So I freely own that my jaws ached with the effort of keeping my teeth from clicking together like castanets.
"The Paternoster Ruby" by Charles Edmonds Walk
Speak out, man, and do not sit there chattering your jaws like a pair of castanets.
"Red Cap Tales" by Samuel Rutherford Crockett
I expected to hear your teeth chattering together like castanets.
"Frank Merriwell's Pursuit" by Burt L. Standish
Two or three, standing close to him, can hear his teeth clacking like castanets!
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
A wagon and a wobble-wheeled buggy, its dry spokes rattling like castanets, went by.
"Land of the Burnt Thigh" by Edith Eudora Kohl
The drum continued beating, the flute shrilled, the enormous castanets clanked, but not a couple sprang into the center of the plaza.
"The Dead Command" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
Again the ten boys repeated their song and dance and their castanets, and with a rapid genuflection disappeared.
"The Land of The Blessed Virgin; Sketches and Impressions in Andalusia" by William Somerset Maugham
Johnnie shall take this tambourine and Willy Parker these castanets, and we will march in to the sound of music.
"Nine Little Goslings" by Susan Coolidge
The little clicking castanets that rang out so sharply were in her hand beyond a doubt.
"The Speaker, No. 5: Volume II, Issue 1" by Various
Esmeralda and Noah with their tambourines, myself with the castanets, and Zachariah with his violin.
"Gipsy Life being an account of our Gipsies and their children" by George Smith
I believe the Bumble's got some castanets and things put away that we could borrow.
"The Madcap of the School" by Angela Brazil
His fingers clicked like castanets.
"The End of Time" by Wallace West
Now and again Manvers heard the throb of a guitar, now and again, with sudden clamour, the clack of castanets.
"The Spanish Jade" by Maurice Hewlett
I couldn't help humming "In Old Madrid" under my breath, and I fancied that the salt-smelling breeze brought the snapping of castanets.
"The Lightning Conductor" by C. N. Williamson
The same may be said of the piano and castanets.
"Principles of Orchestration" by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov
Presently Weegman gave a castanet-like snap of his fingers.
"Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager" by Burt L. Standish
Don't you hear my castanets?
"The Green Book" by Mór Jókai

In poetry:

With a fierce glance she sets her hair alight.
Unexpectedly she turns with daring artfulness
the swirling flounces of her dress within this
conflagration, out of which her upheld naked arms,
clapping the castanets, appear like serpents striking.
"Spanish Dancer" by Rainer Maria Rilke

In news:

Castanets Texas Rose, the Thaw and the Beasts.
The Abri Castanet engravings found in what was once a shelter for reindeer hunters could date back 37,000 years.
This drawing on a limestone slab found at Abri Castanet in southwestern France is said to be of female sexual organ associated with unidentifiable engravings.
At this early human shelter in France called Abri Castanet, archaeologists led by Randall White have collected more than 59,000 items – and counting.

In science:

Doi: 10.1109/QUATIC.2010.54 Cao, T.D., Felix, P., Castanet, R. (2010). WSOTF An Automatic Testing Tool for Web Services Composition. Fifth International Conference on Internet and Web Applications and Services, 7-12.
A survey of service oriented architecture systems testing