Dictionary

Halloween

noun Hal·low·een \ˌha-lə-ˈwēn, ˌhä-\

: the night of October 31 when children dress up as ghosts, witches, monsters, etc., and go to houses to ask for candy

Full Definition of HALLOWEEN

:  October 31 observed especially with dressing up in disguise, trick-or-treating, and displaying jack-o'-lanterns during the evening

Variants of HALLOWEEN

Hal·low·een also Hal·low·e'en \ˌha-lə-ˈwēn, ˌhä-\

Origin of HALLOWEEN

short for All Hallow Even (All Saints' Eve)
First Known Use: circa 1700

Other Calendar Terms

antedate, estival, gloaming, luster, sesquicentennial
HALLOWE'EN Defined for Kids

Halloween

noun Hal·low·een \ˌha-lə-ˈwēn, ˌhä-\

Definition of HALLOWEEN for Kids

:  October 31 celebrated especially by wearing costumes and trick-or-treating

Word History of HALLOWEEN

In the Christian calendar the first day of November is All Saints' Day, which honors all the saints in heaven. The usual earlier name for this day in English was All Hallows Day or All Hallow Day, and the previous evening (October 31) was called All Hallows Eve or All Hallow Even. (The word hallow, related to holy, meant saint.) In Scotland All Hallow Even was contracted to Hallow-een, now spelled Halloween.

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