trick or treat


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trick or treat

A set phrase said by children at Halloween while dressed in costume and asking for candy from someone at their doorstep. The original meaning was "give me a treat or I'll play a trick on you," but this has largely become obsolete. A: "Trick or treat!" B: "Oh, what scary costumes you all have! Here, help yourselves, kids."
See also: treat, trick

trick or treat

Give me a treat of some kind or I will play a trick on you! (The formulaic expression said by children after they ring someone's doorbell and the door is answered on Halloween. It is now understood to mean simply that the child is requesting a treat of some kind—candy, fruit, popcorn, etc.) "Trick or treat!" cried Jimmy when the door opened. Mr. Franklin opened the door to find four very small children dressed like flowers standing silently on his doorstep. After a moment, he said, "Isn't anyone going to say 'Trick or treat'?"
See also: treat, trick

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]
See also: treat, trick

ˌtrick or ˈtreat

said by children who visit people’s houses at Halloween (= October 31) and threaten to play tricks on people who do not give them sweets/candy
See also: treat, trick
References in periodicals archive ?
The latest in America's trick or treat arcade, of course, is Iran.
26, Diamond Hotel Philippines will hold a special Halloween event dubbed "Once Upon a Hallow's Eve." Slated for 11 a.m., the celebration includes a parade of thrilling activities for your kids, including Trick or Treat around the hotel, face painting, glitter tattooing, arts and crafts, photo booth, game booths, black theater, nail art, magic show by Lou Hilario, and musical performances.
"We can't stop them doing trick or treat but we can divert them away from it."
He urged youngsters to respect the police's No Trick or Treat poster when they see it displayed on doors or in windows.
Officers have been visiting Coventry schools in the run up to the annual period of trick or treat.
Families are being asked to dress in their spookiest best and take on the Trick or Treat challenge.
Here's the tale again for those that might have missed it: TRICK or treat time.
THIS Halloween families can trick or treat together in a safe place, knocking on the doors in The Alnwick Garden to discover whether a trick or treat lies behind.
She still blames me for daring her to do a trick or treat at Graves Manor.
* Ridgway Trick or Treat: Official hours are 6-8 p.m.
Ensure there is adequate adult supervision - never trick or treat alone.
Don't call at houses with 'sorry no trick or treat' posters.
WITH the Halloween celebrations approaching can someone clarify the rules for trick or treat?
The free, on-leash event gives dogs a chance to bob for weenies, try an agility course, trick or treat, pose in a photo booth and compete in a costume contest.
IT'S Halloween on Friday and time for trick or treat. For some it's harmless entertainment - for those 'called on' it can be an intimidating experience.