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Santa Claus

or San·ta Klaus

[san-tuh klawz]
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noun
  1. a benevolent figure of legend, associated with Saint Nicholas, supposed to bring gifts to children on Christmas Eve.
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Origin of Santa Claus

1765–75, Americanism; < Dutch Sinterklaas, equivalent to sint saint + heer (myn)heer + Klaas, short for Niklaas nicholas
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for santa claus

Santa Claus

noun
  1. the legendary patron saint of children, commonly identified with Saint Nicholas, who brings presents to children on Christmas Eve or, in some European countries, on Saint Nicholas' DayOften shortened to: Santa Also called: Father Christmas
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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 santa claus

Santa Claus

n.

1773 (as St. A Claus, in "New York Gazette"), American English, from dialectal Dutch Sante Klaas, from Middle Dutch Sinter Niklaas "Saint Nicholas," bishop of Asia Minor who became a patron saint for children. Now a worldwide phenomenon (e.g. Japanese santakurosu).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper