• synonyms


[ noh-el for 1, 2; noh-uh l, nohl for 3 ]
/ noʊˈɛl for 1, 2; ˈnoʊ əl, noʊl for 3 /


the Christmas season; yuletide.
(lowercase) a Christmas song or carol.
a male given name.


Yule, Christmastide, nativity, Christmastime, Yuletide, Xmas, song, chorus, strain, lay, ditty, ballad, madrigal, canticle, canzonet

Origin of Noel

1805–15; < FrenchLatin nātālis (diēs) birthday; see natal Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for noel

British Dictionary definitions for noel



/ (nəʊˈɛl) /


(esp in carols) another word for Christmas
(often not capital) rare a Christmas carol

Word Origin for Noel

C19: from French, from Latin nātālis a birthday; see natal 1
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

Word Origin and History for noel



late 14c., nowel "feast of Christmas," from Old French noel "the Christmas season," variant of nael, from Latin natalis (dies) "birth (day)," in Church Latin in reference to the birthday of Christ, from natus, past participle of nasci "be born" (Old Latin gnasci; see genus). The modern word in English, with the sense "a Christmas carol" (1811) probably is a separate borrowing from French. As a masc. proper name, from Old French, probably literally "of or born on Christmas."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper