trick-or-treat [trik-er-treet] Word Origin verb (used without object)
- to become involved or take part in trick or treat.
Origin of trick-or-treat First recorded in 1940–45 Related formstrick-or-treat·er, noun trick or treat 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.
Origin of trick or treat First recorded in 1940–45 Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019 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 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.