1773 (as St. A Claus, in "New York Gazette"), American English, in reference to the customs of the old Dutch colony of New York, from dialectal Dutch Sante Klaas, from Middle Dutch Sinter Niklaas "Saint Nicholas," bishop of Asia Minor who became a patron saint for children. Now a worldwide phenomenon (Japanese santakurosu). Father Christmas is attested from 1650s.
early 15c., patronesse, "female patron saint," from Medieval Latin patronissa, fem. of patronus "protector, defender" (see patron). Meaning "a female patron" is from c. 1500.
masc. proper name, 1066, from Old Breton Alan, name of a popular Welsh and Breton saint; brought to England by the large contingent of Bretons who fought alongside William the Conqueror.
"holiness, sacredness," mid-15c. in Scottish English, from Latin sanctitudinem (nominative sanctitudo) "sacredness," from sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)).
1805, from Hindi Jaina, from Sanskrit jinah "saint," literally "overcomer," from base ji "to conquer," related to jayah "victory." The sect dates from 6c. B.C.E.
fem. proper name, from Latin Ursula, diminutive of ursa "she-bear" (see ursine). The Ursuline order of Catholic women was founded as Brescia in 1537 and named for Saint Ursula.
masc. proper name, from Latin Ambrosius, from Greek ambrosios "immortal, belonging to the immortals" (see ambrosia). The Ambrosian Library in Milan, founded 1609 by Cardinal Borromeo, is named for Saint Ambrose (obit 397), bishop of Milan.
Middle English shrine "repository in which a holy object or the relics of a saint are kept," from late Old English scrin "ark (of the covenant); chest, coffer; case for relics," from Latin scrinium "case or box for keeping papers," a word of unknown origin.
A widespread Latin borrowing: compare Dutch schrijn, German Schrein, French écrin, (Old French escrin, escrien), Russian skrynya, Lithuanian skrinė. It is attested in English from late 14c. as "a tomb of a saint" (usually elaborate and large).