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Hail Mary

Also called Hail Mary pass, Hail Mary play. a long forward pass in football, especially as a last-ditch attempt at the end of a game, where completion is considered unlikely.
Origin of Hail Mary
1300-50; Middle English, translation of Medieval Latin Ave Maria Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Hail Mary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I have received a light that thou art to be the model for the 'Hail Mary!'

    Agnes of Sorrento Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • He knew her well, and he expressed his knowledge in the first Hail Mary that was ever said.

    Mater Christi Mother St. Paul
  • It is unnecessary to say that I said a "Hail Mary" for his soul at least.

    Lourdes Robert Hugh Benson
  • The Superior then told me to say the prayer called "Hail Mary!"

  • The exhortation was usually followed by a loud saying of a Paternoster and a "Hail Mary" by all present.

    Tyrol and its People Clive Holland
British Dictionary definitions for Hail Mary

Hail Mary

(RC Church) Also called Ave Maria. a prayer to the Virgin Mary, based on the salutations of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:28) and Elizabeth (Luke 1:42) to her
(American football, slang) a very long high pass into the end zone, made in the final seconds of a half or of a game
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
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Slang definitions & phrases for Hail Mary

Hail Mary


Done in pious hope and desperation: Staubach hurls a Hail, Mary pass into the end zone/ ''We did what could be described as the Hail Mary play,'' Gen. Schwarzkopf says/ You know a Hail Mary moment when you see one: It happened at the Redskins-Cardinals game

[1980s+ Football; fr the liturgical prayer Hail, Mary, full of grace, etc]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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