Definition of Hail Mary
1 : a Roman Catholic prayer to the Virgin Mary that consists of salutations and a plea for her intercession
2 or less commonly Hail Mary pass : a long forward pass in football thrown into or near the end zone in a last-ditch attempt to score as time runs out —often used figuratively <The only potential cure is a stem-cell transplant, when you take somebody else's immune system and put it into yours. But right now that's kind of a Hail Mary pass. — Douglas Cote, quoted in Bicycling>
Examples of hail mary in a sentence
He threw up a Hail Mary at the end of the first half.
Origin and Etymology of hail mary
translation of Medieval Latin Ave, Maria, from the opening words
First Known Use: 14th century
HAIL MARY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of Hail Mary for English Language Learners
: 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
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