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[chil-der-muh s] /ˈtʃɪl dər məs/
noun, Chiefly British.
Origin of Childermas
before 1000; Middle English chyldermasse, equivalent to Old English cildra (genitive plural of cild child) + mæsse Mass Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for Childermas
Historical Examples
  • A central feature of the celebration was a pompous church procession following vespers on Childermas eve.

    St. Nicholas George H. McKnight
  • See thou fall not hastily into the like offence, else shalt thou smart from Childermas to All-hallowtide.

  • On the eve of Innocents day (Dec. 28th), the priests gave way to the choir boys, the children, for the celebration of Childermas.

    St. Nicholas George H. McKnight
  • On Childermas day (the 28th of August) the license of the English visitors had grown to such a height, that it was.

British Dictionary definitions for Childermas


(archaic) Holy Innocents Day, Dec 28
Word Origin
Old English cylda-mæsse, from cildra, genitive plural of child, + mæsseMass
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Childermas

"festival of the Holy Innocents" (Dec. 28), late Old English *cildramæsse (c.1000), from obsolete plural of child (q.v.) + mass (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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