Definitions

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

  • n. The personification of the spirit of Christmas, usually represented as a jolly fat old man with a white beard and a red suit, who brings gifts to good children on Christmas Eve.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A mythological figure who traditionally is believed to bring presents to people (especially children) at Christmas time.

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

  • n. the legendary patron saint of children; an imaginary being who is thought to bring presents to children at Christmas

Etymologies

Probably alteration of Dutch Sinterklaas, from Middle Dutch Sinterclaes, St. Nicholas : sint, saint (from Middle Dutch, from Old French saint; see saint) + heer, lord; see mynheer + claes (short for Niclaes, Nicholas).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Dutch folk tale of Sinterklaas based on the historical figure Saint Nicholas, a bishop from Myra in Asia Minor. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The name Santa Claus can be traced back to the Dutch even more Jake, the red suit and presents derive from the Norse myths.

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  • As you know, traders are very superstitious people and they put a lot of stock in what they call the Santa Claus rally effect.

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  • This is what I call the Santa Claus method of dealing with particularly troublesome concepts in a sitcom.

    TV Squad

  • First, most Christian parents introduce their children to the idea of Santa Claus, which is reinforced through cartoons, movies, and storybooks.

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  • "And all because of this person they call Santa Claus!" exclaimed the

    A Kidnapped Santa Claus

  • And, since that strength has been most pronounced in countries that celebrate Christmas, this strength can genuinely go by the name Santa Claus

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  • Colonial Manhattan Islanders introduced the name Santa Claus, a corruption of the Dutch name St. Nicholas, who lived in fourth-century Asia Minor.

    infoplease - Daily Almanac

  • Once they arrive in America, she describes the fear that consumes her as she worries about being turned away and her curiosity as she embraces new experiences like eating bananas and calling Saint Mikolaj by the name Santa Claus, all while wondering when and how they will find her father again.

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  • Ken Barlow's career as a Santa Claus is short-lived this week when he is fired on his first day in the job.

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  • Based on what is known about Saint Nicholas of Myra (whom we know as Santa Claus), I suspect that he would have been concerned very little about naughtiness or niceness and far more occupied with giving gifts and meeting the needs of others.

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