[ nik-uh-luhs, nik-luhs ]
/ ˈnɪk ə ləs, ˈnɪk ləs /
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of Cu·sa [kyoo-zuh], /ˈkyu zə/, 1401–1464, German cardinal, mathematician, and philosopher.German Nikolaus von Cusa.
Grand Duke, 1856–1929, Russian general in World War I.
Saint, flourished 4th century a.d., bishop in Asia Minor: patron saint of Russia; protector of children and prototype of the legendary Santa Claus.
a male given name: from Greek words meaning “victory” and “people.”
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is St. Nicholas Day?

St. Nicholas Day is a Christian holiday—the feast day of Saint Nicholas.

Saint Nicholas is best known as the basis of the legendary Santa Claus. As a bishop in Asia Minor around the 4th century c.e., he was known for his generosity and as a protector of children. He is the patron saint of children, sailors, and merchants, and of Russia and Greece.

St. Nicholas Day is celebrated by Catholics and members of the Eastern Orthodox Church, among other Christians.

Celebration of St. Nicholas Day sometimes involves children laying out their shoes (or sometimes socks) on the night before in the hopes that treats are placed in them overnight (much like the tradition of Christmas stockings).

When is St. Nicholas Day?

St. Nicholas Day is celebrated each year on December 6. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is celebrated on December 19.

More information and context on St. Nicholas Day

December 6 was chosen as the date for Saint Nicholas’s feast day because it was the date he died. As a bishop, Nicholas became known as a generous protector of children, and many legends are associated with him. Eventually, some of these legends are thought to have blended with others to form the modern legend of Santa Claus.

In one story, Nicholas was said to have anonymously given three poor girls their dowry by dropping bags of coins down their chimney. The coins were saved from the fire by falling into stockings that had been placed over the fire to dry.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing St. Nicholas Day?

How is St. Nicholas Day discussed in real life?

St. Nicholas is among the most well-known Christian saints, particularly for his association with Santa Claus. St. Nicholas Day is especially associated with some traditions that are similar to Christmas traditions, such as children getting little gifts in socks or shoes.



Try using St. Nicholas Day!

In which month does St. Nicholas Day take place?

A. December
B. January
C. August
D. October

How to use Nicholas in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Nicholas

/ (ˈnɪkələs) /

Saint. 4th-century ad bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor; patron saint of Russia and of children, sailors, merchants, and pawnbrokers. Feast day: Dec 6See also Santa Claus
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