Definition of trick or treat in English:

Share this entry

trick or treat


A children’s custom of calling at houses at Halloween with the threat of pranks if they are not given a small gift (often used as a greeting by children doing this).
Example sentences
  • At 7.30 pm recently we had an insistent ringing on the door by children dressed for trick or treat.
  • Unlike trick or treat, Mischief Night is a long-standing British tradition.
  • The police chief superintendent has warned that trick or treat could be considered a serious criminal offence.


[no object] (trick-or-treat)
Take part in the custom of trick or treat: kids are going to go trick-or-treating tomorrow night
More example sentences
  • My little boy wanted to go begging - sorry, trick or treating.
  • Our community is the sort where children go trick or treating on Hallowe'en.
  • Parents were warned not to let their children go out trick or treating alone.



Pronunciation: /trɪkɔːˈtriːtə/

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: trick or treat

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.