hat trick

[ hat-trik ]
See synonyms for hat trick on Thesaurus.com
  1. Cricket. the knocking off by one bowler of three wickets with three successive pitches.

  2. Ice Hockey, Soccer. three goals scored by one player in one game: He was the only athlete in our school’s history to achieve a hat trick in both hockey and soccer.

  1. Baseball. three like feats executed by one player in one game, especially three home runs: In last night’s game, Marley performed a most unusual hat trick, with his three unassisted double plays.

  2. a series of three related successes or accomplishments, especially when achieved one after the other and in close proximity: Once again, Kay won the blue ribbons for dill pickles, bread-and-butter pickles, and pickled beets—her annual pickle hat trick!

Origin of hat trick

First recorded in 1865–70; so called because formerly such a cricket bowler was rewarded with a hat

Words Nearby hat trick

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hat trick in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hat-trick


  1. cricket the achievement of a bowler in taking three wickets with three successive balls

  2. any achievement of three points, victories, awards, etc within a given period, esp three goals scored by the same player in a soccer match

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

Cultural definitions for hat trick

hat trick

In some sports, such as ice hockey, three goals by one player in a single game: “Lemieux scores for the third time tonight; he finally has the hat trick he's been looking for all season.”

Notes for hat trick

By extension, a hat trick is an outstanding performance by an individual, or a particularly clever or adroit maneuver: “She pulled off a hat trick with her presentation to the committee.”

Notes for hat trick

The phrase originally referred to a hat traditionally given to a cricket player who scored three wickets, or goals.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with hat trick

hat trick

An extremely clever or adroit maneuver, as in It looked as though the party was going to achieve a hat trick in this election. The term originated in cricket, where it refers to three wickets taken by a bowler in three consecutive balls, traditionally rewarded with the presentation of a hat. It later was transferred to ice hockey, soccer, and baseball, where it denotes three consecutive successes (goals, hits), and then to more general use.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.