Hal·​low·​een ˌha-lə-ˈwēn How to pronounce Halloween (audio) ˌhä- How to pronounce Halloween (audio)
variants or less commonly Hallowe'en
: October 31 observed especially with dressing up in disguise, trick-or-treating, and displaying jack-o'-lanterns during the evening

Examples of Halloween in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Harvest Nights, Newfields' celebration of Halloween and fall rolled into one, will return once again, cementing itself as a festival staple. The Indianapolis Star, 30 Aug. 2023 Since, she's appeared in other films including Murder Mystery and Hubie Halloween, per IMDb. Olivia Evans, Women's Health, 29 Aug. 2023 Black icings and fondants can add a touch of sophistication to cookies and cakes on a birthday, on New Year's Eve, or at a wedding—or add a spooky element on Halloween. Micah A Leal, Southern Living, 29 Aug. 2023 The Halloween Tree is a heartwarming and thought provoking story that both kids and adults can learn from. Anna Mahan, Country Living, 29 Aug. 2023 TikTok Stars Bryce Hall and Addison Rae Spotted Kissing While in Couple's Halloween Costume Mongeau defended herself on an episode of her podcast Cancelled. Nikki Dobrin, Peoplemag, 29 Aug. 2023 The pumpkin patch, haunted maze and other Halloween attractions will open later in September. — Lizzy Acker 503-221-8052; lacker@oregonian.com; @lizzzyacker Our journalism needs your support. oregonlive, 29 Aug. 2023 The entire park gets in the holiday spirit with Halloween décor throughout. Carly Caramanna, Travel + Leisure, 28 Aug. 2023 This movie's inclusion on any and all Halloween lists is a no-brainer. Amy MacKelden, ELLE, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Halloween.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


short for All Hallow Even (All Saints' Eve)

First Known Use

circa 1700, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Halloween was circa 1700

Dictionary Entries Near Halloween

Cite this Entry

“Halloween.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Halloween. Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


Hal·​low·​een ˌhal-ə-ˈwēn How to pronounce Halloween (audio) ˌhäl- How to pronounce Halloween (audio)
: October 31 celebrated especially by wearing costumes, trick-or-treating, and displaying jack-o'-lanterns

an altered form of All Hallow Even, the eve of All Saints' Day

Word Origin
Modern-day Christians know the first of November as All Saints' Day. In the Middle Ages it was called All Hallow Day. This was a hallowed or holy day celebrated in honor of all the saints in heaven. Since November 1 was a special holy day with a special name, the day before it had a special name as well. October 31 was called All Hallow Eve or All Hallow Even. The words eve and even were used both for the evening and the day before a special day. This name was sometimes written All Hallow E'en and later shortened to Halloween.

More from Merriam-Webster on Halloween

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