Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Christian feast commemorating the birth of Jesus.
  • n. December 25, the day on which this feast is celebrated.
  • n. Christmastide.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, incorporating various Christian, pre-Christian and secular customs.
  • proper n. A personification of Christmas.
  • n. Christmas Day, the day it is celebrated, 25 December, an English quarter day.
  • n. Christmastide, the Twelve Days of Christmas, the season (traditionally from the 24th of December to the 6th of January) around the holiday.
  • n. The period from the Friday following Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, busy with shopping and preparations for Christmas.
  • n. Christmas season, the end of the year period, busy with shopping and preparations for Christmas.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An annual church festival (December 25) and in some States a legal holiday, in memory of the birth of Christ, often celebrated by a particular church service, and also by special gifts, greetings, and hospitality.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The festival of the Christian church observed annually in memory of the birth of Christ.
  • n. Christmas day, the 25th day of December.
  • n. [lowercase] The holly, Ilex Aquifolium, from its use for decoration on Christmas day.
  • n. A box of presents at Christmas.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. period extending from Dec. 24 to Jan. 6
  • n. a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ; a quarter day in England, Wales, and Ireland

Etymologies

Middle English Cristemas, from Old English Crīstes mæsse, Christ's festival : Crīst, Christ; see Christ + mæsse, festival; see Mass.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From late Old English Cristesmæsse ("Christ's mass, Christ's festival"); as if Christ +‎ -mas. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic slogan “A dog is for life not just for Christmas®” Dogs Trust has commissioned new research which looks at dog trends from the last thirty years including the number of dogs that are being offered as Christmas gifts.

    Public urged not to buy a dog this Christmas

  • * A Bigfoot Christmas* by James Powell James Powell's bungling but beloved Bullock is back for another Christmas adventure, this one involving, of all things, the "Bigfoot," a creature of the same ilk as the Abominable Snowman of lore.

    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

  • Over all the doors, which are likewise arched, are Christmas garlands, and over the main entrance _Merry Christmas_ in evergreen letters.

    Our Boys Entertaining Stories by Popular Authors

  • Another old Christmas belief may be found in the _Golden Legend_, printed by Wynkyn de Worde, where it is said, "that what persone beynge in clene lyfe desyre on thys daye (_Christmas_) a boone of God: as ferre as it is ryghtfull and good for hym, our lorde at reuerence of thys blessid and hye feste of his natiuite wol graunt it to hym."

    A Righte Merrie Christmasse The Story of Christ-Tide

  • Extracts from many of Miss Alcott's stories, the Cratchits 'Christmas dinner from Dickens' _Christmas Carol_, and many other delightful glimpses of home life can be read, or, better, dramatized, with little effort and with good results.

    Vocational Guidance for Girls

  • He remembered Scrooge and his journey with the Ghost of Christmas Past in Dickens's _Christmas Carol_.

    The Witness

  • Not a Christmas of "present trading," not a Christmas of things at all; but _Christmas_.

    Christmas A Story

  • Oh well, _I_ don't care, I'm not going to let my Christmas Eve be disturbed by a thing _like that_; if one can call it a _Christmas Eve_ at all.

    A Young Girl's Diary

  • And before Christmas just that last part got hold of me, —and since Christmas— '

    The Gold of Chickaree

  • As we kept our Christmas here, I called this discovery _Christmas

    A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 16

Comments

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  • Scrooge McScroogeycipherpants.

    January 21, 2013

  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand meaning "Charges have not been guaranteed". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 21, 2013

  • happy december 25th, 2010 ya'll.

    December 25, 2010

  • Happy Xmas everyone. I'm just about to go downstairs and mutilate the carrots.

    December 25, 2010

  • Ooh! Earworm alert!
    Very good though, and I'm no expert when it comes to banjos.

    December 25, 2010

  • Watch Tom Collins play and sing Breakin' up Christmas" on the fretless banjo. He plays in the old time drop-thumb two-finger "clawhammer" style. Awesome. Breakin' up Christmas all night long...

    December 25, 2010

  • Merry Christmas from Australia!
    I'm sorry (some of) you guys have to wait those couple hours more.
    ; )
    I guess that makes the work easier for Santa though.

    December 25, 2010