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Ave Maria

[ah-vey muh-ree-uh]
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noun
  1. (italics) the first two words of the Latin version of a prayer in the Roman Catholic Church, based on the salutation of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary and the words of Elizabeth to her.
  2. a recitation of this prayer.
  3. the bead or beads on a rosary used to count off each prayer as spoken.

Origin of Ave Maria

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at ave
Also called Hail Mary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ave maria

Historical Examples

  • But as he spoke the bells of the villages around toned forth the Ave-Maria.

    Household stories from the Land of Hofer

    R. H. Busk

  • The village bells sound the Ave-Maria, but the sacred notes arrest her not—the evening prayer is forgotten in the thirst for gold.

  • His body is interred at the Cordeliers, and his heart deposited at the Ave-Maria.


British Dictionary definitions for ave maria

Ave Maria

noun
  1. another name for Hail Mary

Word Origin

C14: from Medieval Latin: hail, Mary!
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ave maria

Ave Maria

modified form of the angelic salutation to the Virgin (Luke i:28) used as a devotional recitation, early 13c., from the opening words ("Ave [Maria] gratia plena").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper