Hail Mary

Hail Mary


: a Roman Catholic prayer to the Virgin Mary

American football : a long forward pass thrown into or close to the end zone as playing time runs out

Full Definition of HAIL MARY

:  a Roman Catholic prayer to the Virgin Mary that consists of salutations and a plea for her intercession
:  a long forward pass in football thrown into or near the end zone in a last-ditch attempt to score as time runs out

Examples of HAIL MARY

  1. He threw up a Hail Mary at the end of the first half.

Origin of HAIL MARY

translation of Medieval Latin Ave, Maria, from the opening words
First Known Use: 15th century

Hail Mary

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Principal Roman Catholic prayer addressed to the Virgin Mary. It begins with the greetings spoken to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel and by her cousin Elizabeth in the Gospel of Luke: “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” A closing petition, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death,” came into general use by the end of the 14th century. Churchgoers who attend confession are often asked to repeat the prayer as penance for sins.

Variants of HAIL MARY

Hail Mary Latin Ave Maria


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