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[kris-muh s or, often, eks-muh s] /ˈkrɪs məs or, often, ˈɛks məs/
Often Offensive. Christmas.
Usage note
The abbreviation Xmas for Christmas dates from the mid 16th century. The X is the Greek letter chi, the initial letter in the word Χριστός (Chrīstos) “Christ.” In spite of a long and respectable history, today Xmas is offensive to many, perhaps because of its associations with advertising. It is not used in formal writing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for Xmas


/ˈɛksməs; ˈkrɪsməs/
(informal) short for Christmas
Word Origin
C16: from symbol X for Christ + -mas
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 Xmas

"Christmas," 1551, X'temmas, wherein the X is an abbreviation for Christ in Christmas, from first letter of Greek Christos "Christ" (see Christ). The earlier way to abbreviate it was Xp- or Xr-, corresponding to "Chr-," and the form Xres mæsse for "Christmas" appears in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" (c.1100).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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