trick or treat

variants: or trick-or-treat \ ˈtrik-​ər-​ˈtrēt How to pronounce trick or treat (audio) \

Definition of trick or treat

: a Halloween practice in which children wearing costumes go from door to door in a neighborhood saying "trick or treat" when a door is opened to ask for treats with the implied threat of playing tricks on those who refuse … a whimsical 1951 Saturday Evening Post cover on which costumed children are surprised by a disguised adult who opens the door for trick-or-treat.Antiques and The Arts Weekly

Other Words from trick or treat

trick-or-treat intransitive verb trick-or-treated; trick-or-treating; trick-or-treats
I drive home at lunch and pick the boys up for trick-or-treating. Marcus is a rancher and Howie's an accountant. He's wearing thick fake lips and carrying a ledger. The Park's the only safe place to trick-or-treat anymore. — George Saunders
trick-or-treater noun, plural trick-or-treaters
A year ago, his wife suggested that he might feel better if he wore his old pirate-captain costume when he opened the door to trick-or-treaters, but a little boy in the first group of callers—a four-year-old who was ferociously costumed as a snaggletoothed monster—burst into tears at the sight of him. — Calvin Trillin
trick-or-treating noun
This is a guy who went trick-or-treating in catcher's gear while the rest of his friends dressed as mummies and mass murderers. — Franz Lidz

Examples of trick or treat in a Sentence

We got all dressed up for trick or treat. When the door opened the kids all shouted “Trick or treat!”.
Recent Examples on the Web Brooklyn Recreation Department is hosting a Halloween Town Safety Town trick or treat event 6-8 p.m. Oct. 21 at Brooklyn Safety Town and the Grand Pavilion behind City Hall on Memphis Avenue. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 12 Oct. 2021 Her daughter is going to trick or treat today as a Dalmatian, her son as a werewolf. Richard Galant, CNN, 31 Oct. 2021 Halloween 2020 brought creative ways to trick or treat while minimizing the spread of infection (candy catapult, anyone?). Meg Sorg, The Conversation, 19 Oct. 2021 In response to the Fostoria reports, Fostoria Police said that ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital offered to provide local families with X-Rays of candy distributed during the area's trick or treat. Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, 2 Nov. 2021 Wear a costume and trick or treat with 15 or more businesses around the park. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 18 Oct. 2021 Children can trick or treat the Shops of Eton from 5 - 7 p.m., Oct. 28 at the annual Halloween Boo-tique. Brenda Cain, cleveland, 1 Oct. 2021 The event will offer pizza, face painting, games and trick or treat in the parking lot. Annie Blanks, San Antonio Express-News, 22 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trick or treat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of trick or treat

1927, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for trick or treat

Time Traveler

The first known use of trick or treat was in 1927

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Dictionary Entries Near trick or treat

trick of the/one's trade

trick or treat


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Cite this Entry

“Trick or treat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for trick or treat

trick or treat


Kids Definition of trick or treat

: a children's Halloween practice of going around usually in costume asking for treats


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