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Probably ultimately borrowed from Old French Nicholas, itself from Latin Nīcolāus. Compare English Nicholas.


  • IPA(key): /ˈnɪkoˌlaʊ̯s/ (normal)
  • IPA(key): /ˈniːkoˌlaʊ̯s/ (less common; regional)
  • IPA(key): /ˈnɪkəˌlaʊ̯s/ (dated; still among the older generation)
  • (file)

Proper noun[edit]

Nikolaus m (genitive Nikolaus or Nikolaus')

  1. St. Nicholas
  2. A figure, originally identical with the former and similar to the Anglo-Saxon Santa Claus, bringing children (small) presents during the night before the 6th of December
  3. A male given name, cognate to Nicholas.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The traditional figure is usually named with a definite article: der Nikolaus. In this case, the genitive is des Nikolaus without an apostrophe. Otherwise it is (prepositioned) Nikolaus' with apostrophe.

Related terms[edit]


Nikolaus m (genitive Nikolaus or Nikolauses, plural Nikoläuse or Nikolause)

  1. a representation of St. Nicholas (e.g. an actor or a figurine)
  2. the day of 6th December

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]


Proper noun[edit]

Nikolaus c (genitive Nikolaus)

  1. A male given name, equivalent to English Nicholas; more popular in the form Nils and Niklas.