A treat is anything that gives pleasure, usually paid for by someone else as a way of showing affection. As a verb, when you treat someone to something, you are buying them food or taking them out to have fun. Treat also means to deal with something or someone in a specific way.
A whole weekend by the lake for my birthday? What a treat!
Antonia's parents treated her to a fancy meal in town for her graduation.
Lucy treated the guitar with care, since she knew it was one of her father's favorite things.
We were always treated with respect at Sarah's house.
Words often used with treat
treat yourself: This means "to do something nice for yourself" or "to buy yourself something." Example: "Sue got a bonus at work, so she's going to treat herself to a new pair of shoes."
my treat: English speakers use this expression to say they are paying for something. Example: "Put your money away! This is my treat."
special treat: We call something a special treat when it's a food, usually a dessert like a cookie, that we don't get very often. A special treat can also be an experience that someone gives you, like a trip to the museum. Example: "As a special treat, I'm going to have a brownie for dessert."
Treat can also be used in a medical context: doctors and nurses treat patients. Find out more about all the different meanings of this word by following the link below to the full definition.
Did you know?
"Trick or treat" is what children say when they go from door to door on Halloween. In theory, it means that if the person opening the door doesn't give the children a treat (normally some candy), they will play a trick on him or her (though they really don't do that anymore). This is often thought of as an American tradition. The modern version developed in the US in the twentieth century, becoming very common from the 1940s onward. It only became popular in the UK and Ireland during the 1980s. However, the tradition has its roots in the practice of souling, once common across Europe, where poor people would go from house to house asking for food in return for prayers for the dead, and the Scottish practice of guising, where people in costumes would go from door to door and perform some sort of entertainment in return for their treat.