pi·ña·ta (pĭn-yätə, pēn-)
1. 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.
2. A frequent object or victim of ongoing criticism or abuse: “Partially hydrogenated oils [have become] a piñata for public health officials worldwide” (Michael Mason).
[Spanish, from Italian pignatta, a kind of pot, probably from dialectal pigna, pine cone (from its shape), from Latin pīnea; see PINEAL.]
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