or Hal·low·e'en

[hal-uh-ween, -oh-een, hol-]


the evening of October 31; the eve of All Saints' Day; Allhallows Eve: observed especially by children in costumes who solicit treats, often by threatening minor pranks.

Origin of Halloween

First recorded in 1550–60; (All)hallow(s) + e(v)en2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for halloween




the eve of All Saints' Day celebrated on Oct 31 by masquerading; Allhallows Eve

Word Origin for Halloween

C18: see Allhallows, even ²
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

Word Origin and History for halloween


c.1745, Scottish shortening of Allhallow-even "Eve of All Saints, last night of October" (1550s), the last night of the year in the old Celtic calendar, where it was Old Year's Night, a night for witches. A pagan holiday given a cursory baptism and sent on its way. See hallow; also cf. hallows.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper