[san-toh, sahn-; Spanish sahn-taw]
noun, plural santos [san-tohz, sahn-; Spanish sahn-taws] .
a carved figure of a saint, usually of wood, as from Puerto Rico, Mexico, or the southwestern U.S.

1630–40, for an earlier sense; < American Spanish, Spanish: literally, saint < Latin sānctus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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The best bet is purchasing a santo made by a living santero, usually a great value considering their heritage and uniqueness.
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