trick or treat

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:
1940–45

Dictionary.com Unabridged

trick-or-treat

[trik-er-treet]
verb (used without object)
to become involved or take part in trick or treat.

Origin:
1940–45

trick-or-treater, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
trick or treat
 
sentence substitute
chiefly (US), (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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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