hallowe’en


noun

  1. 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.

noun

  1. the eve of All Saints’ Day celebrated on Oct 31 by masquerading; Allhallows Eve

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.

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