Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. October 31, celebrated in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles by children going door to door while wearing costumes and begging treats and playing pranks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The eve of All Hallows' Day; 31st October; celebrated (mostly in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States and Ireland) by children going door-to-door in costume and demanding candy with menaces.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The evening preceding Allhallows or All Saints' Day (November 1); also the entire day, October 31. It is often marked by parties or celebrations, and sometimes by pranks played by young people.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The evening of October 31st, as the eve or vigil of All-hallows or All Saints' day.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the evening before All Saints' Day; often devoted to pranks played by young people
  • n. the evening before All Saints' Day; often devoted to pranks played by young people

Etymologies

Short for All Hallow Even : Allhallow(mas) + even2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
A shortening of All-Hallow-even, All Hallows’ Eve (the name of the evening before All Saints Day). (Wiktionary)

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