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Santa Claus and Santa noun in folklore: a plump, white-bearded, jolly old man dressed in red who traditionally brings children presents on Christmas Eve or St Nicholas's Day, travelling on a sleigh which flies through the sky drawn by reindeers. Also called Father Christmas.
ETYMOLOGY: 18c: from Dutch dialect Sante Klaas St Nicholas; the original custom was for someone to dress as a bishop, ie as St Nicholas, and distribute presents to the good children on St Nicholas's Day (6 December).
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