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Boxing Day

(in Britain) the first weekday after Christmas, when Christmas gifts or boxes are given to employees, letter carriers, etc.
Origin of Boxing Day
1825-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for boxing-day
Historical Examples
  • boxing-day will inevitably be "wetter" in every sense than usual this year, internally and externally.

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • I wonder—how does their work seem to Them upon this morning after boxing-day?

  • Such a disappointment must not be inflicted upon any family on boxing-day.

    The Following of the Star Florence L. Barclay
  • boxing-day on the river: The silent street is almost deserted.

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • But let us pass on to the artistic boxing-day keepers at the National Gallery.

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • The British boxing-day is well known, both as to its customs and its origin.

    British Goblins Wirt Sikes
  • There is an amusing account, given by a writer of the querulous class, of a boxing-day in London, a century ago.

    The Book of Christmas Thomas K. Hervey
  • But boxing-day seemed to have set in badly; while Mr Dodd felt ill-disposed to suffer the stings and arrows.

    Christmas Penny Readings George Manville Fenn
  • Let us turn into the British Museum and see sensible, decorous boxing-day there.

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • The morning after the festivities London oversleeps itself:—and, awaking, finds it boxing-day.

British Dictionary definitions for boxing-day

Boxing Day

(Brit) the first day (traditionally and strictly, the first weekday) after Christmas, observed as a holiday
Word Origin
C19: from the custom of giving Christmas boxes to tradesmen and staff on this day
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for boxing-day

Boxing Day


1809, "first weekday after Christmas," on which postmen and others expect to receive a Christmas present, originally in reference to the custom of distributing the contents of the Christmas box, which was placed in the church for charity collections. See box (n.1). The custom is older than the phrase.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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