noun, often attributive \ˈkris-məs\

: a Christian holiday that is celebrated on December 25 in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ or the period of time that comes before and after this holiday

Full Definition of CHRISTMAS

:  a Christian feast on December 25 or among some Eastern Orthodox Christians on January 7 that commemorates the birth of Christ and is usually observed as a legal holiday
Christ·mas·sy or Christ·masy \-mə-sē\ adjective

Examples of CHRISTMAS

  1. We're spending Christmas with my parents.
  2. We had a very happy Christmas this year.
  3. I wish you all a merry Christmas.


Middle English Christemasse, from Old English Cristes mæsse, literally, Christ's mass
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with CHRISTMAS


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

The Nativity, fresco by Giotto, c. 1305–06, depicting the …—SuperStock

Christian festival celebrated on December 25, commemorating the birth of Jesus. December 25 had already been identified by Sextus Julius Africanus in AD 221 as the day on which Christmas would be celebrated, and it was celebrated in Rome by AD 336. During the Middle Ages Christmas became extremely popular, and various liturgical celebrations of the holiday were established. The practice of exchanging gifts had begun by the 15th century. The Yule log, cakes, and fir trees derive from German and Celtic customs. Christmas today is regarded as a family festival with gifts brought by Santa Claus (see St. Nicholas). As an increasingly secular festival, it has come to be celebrated by many non-Christians.


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