Definition of treat noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//triːt//
; NAmE NAmE//triːt//
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  • something very pleasant and enjoyable, especially something that you give somebody or do for them We took the kids to the zoo as a special treat. You've never been to this area before? Then you're in for a real treat. When I was young chocolate was a treat. Let's go out for lunch—my treat (= I will pay). Synonymspleasuredelight joy privilege treat honourThese are all words for things that make you happy or bring you enjoyment.pleasure a thing that brings you enjoyment or satisfaction:the pleasures and pains of everyday life It’s been a pleasure meeting you.delight a thing or person that brings you great enjoyment or satisfaction:the delights of living in the countryjoy a thing or person that brings you great enjoyment or happiness:the joys and sorrows of childhoodpleasure, delight or joy?A delight or joy is greater than a pleasure; a person, especially a child, can be a delight or joy, but not a pleasure; joys are often contrasted with sorrows, but delights are not.privilege (rather formal) something that you are proud and lucky to have the opportunity to do:It was a great privilege to hear her sing.treat (informal) a thing that somebody enjoyed or is likely to enjoy very much:You’ve never been to this area before? Then you’re in for a real treat.honour/​honor (formal) something that you are very pleased or proud to do because people are showing you great respect:It was a great honour to be invited here today.Patterns the pleasures/​delights/​joys of something It’s a great pleasure/​joy to me that… It’s a pleasure/​delight/​joy/​privilege/​treat/​honour to do something It’s a pleasure/​delight/​joy to see/​find… a pleasure/​delight/​joy to behold/​watch a real pleasure/​delight/​joy/​privilege/​treat a great pleasure/​joy/​privilege/​honour a rare joy/​privilege/​treat/​honour
  • Word OriginMiddle English (in the senses ‘negotiate’ and ‘discuss a subject’): from Old French traitier, from Latin tractare ‘handle’, frequentative of trahere ‘draw, pull’. The current noun sense dates from the mid 17th cent.Extra examples I took the kids to the zoo for a special treat. If their latest album is half as good as their last one, we’ve a real treat in store. Snails are a tasty treat for hedgehogs. If you have never seen one of these fish than you have missed a treat. You’ve never been to this area before? Then you’re in for a real treat./Then you have a real treat in store.Idioms (British English, informal) extremely well or good His idea worked a treat (= was successful). I don’t know whether she can act but she looks a treat. said by children who visit people’s houses at Halloween and threaten to play tricks on people who do not give them sweets/candy
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: treat