Dictionary.com

trick or treat

Save This Word!

noun
a children's Halloween custom, in which they call on neighbors, using this phrase, and threaten to play a trick if a treat is not given.

VIDEO FOR TRICK OR TREAT

Why Do We Say "Trick Or Treat" On Halloween?

"Trick or Treat" is the quintessential Halloween greeting but why do we say it?

MORE VIDEOS FROM DICTIONARY.COM
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of trick or treat

First recorded in 1940–45

Other definitions for trick or treat (2 of 2)

trick-or-treat
[ trik-er-treet ]
/ ˈtrɪk ərˈtrit /

verb (used without object)
to become involved or take part in trick or treat.

Origin of trick-or-treat

First recorded in 1940–45

OTHER WORDS FROM trick-or-treat

trick-or-treater, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use trick or treat in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for trick or treat

trick or treat

sentence substitute
mainly US and Canadian the cry by children at Halloween when they call at houses, indicating that they want a present or money or else they will play a trick on the householder
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with trick or treat

trick or treat

A greeting by children asking for treats on Halloween and threatening to play a trick on those who refuse to give them. For example, The children went from house to house, shouting “Trick or treat!” [c. 1940]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
FEEDBACK