Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The first weekday after Christmas, celebrated as a holiday in parts of the British Commonwealth, when Christmas gifts are traditionally given to service workers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In England, the first week-day after Christmas, when Christmas boxes or presents are given to one's employees, to postmen, etc.
  • noun In the Scottish law-courts, same as box-day.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • engraving The first week day after Christmas, a legal holiday on which Christmas boxes are given to postmen, errand boys, employees, etc. The night of this day is boxing night.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The day after Christmas; the 26th of December.

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

  • noun first weekday after Christmas

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Perhaps because of boxes that were placed outside churches to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of St Stephen, or because of the old British custom of tradesmen collecting "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service (mentioned by diarist Samuel Pepys).

Examples

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