Santa Claus

or San·ta Klaus

[ san-tuh klawz ]
/ ˈsæn tə ˌklɔz /


a benevolent figure of legend, associated with Saint Nicholas, supposed to bring gifts to children on Christmas Eve.

Origin of Santa Claus

1765–75, Americanism; < Dutch Sinterklaas, equivalent to sint saint + heer (myn)heer + Klaas, short for Niklaas nicholas Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for santa claus

Santa Claus

/ (ˈsæntə ˌklɔːz) /


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
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


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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper