hat trick


: the scoring of three goals in one game (as of hockey or soccer) by a single player
: the dismissing (see dismiss sense 4) of three batsmen with three consecutive balls by a bowler in cricket
: a series of three victories, successes, or related accomplishments
scored a hat trick when her three best steers corralled top honorsPeople

Did you know?

It may surprise some people to learn that the term "hat trick" as it relates to sports actually originated in British cricket. A bowler who retired three batsmen with three consecutive balls was entitled to a new hat at the expense of the club to commemorate this feat. Eventually, the phrase was applied to a single player scoring three goals in any goal sport and later to three victories or successes in sports as different as horse racing and golf. The phrase finally broadened to include a string of three important successes or achievements in any field.

Examples of hat trick in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Radko Gudas had a Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, assist and a fighting major and Cam Fowler also scored for Anaheim, which has won five consecutive road games, with four of those being come-from-behind victories. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023 Jesús Ferreira first American with back-to-back international hat tricks as U.S. advances in Gold Cup July 2, 2023 The result dropped LAFC (9-6-5) to third in the 14-team Western Conference table, while the Galaxy (4-9-7) remain one spot out of the cellar. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 5 July 2023 Grant Miller had a hat trick and Ben Phillips scored twice in the Mavericks’ big win. Baltimore Sun Staff, Baltimore Sun, 19 Sep. 2023 Luke Combs and Hardy followed with four apiece. Part of the hat trick Wilson pulled off was landing a nomination for the top prize, entertainer of the year. Chris Willman, Variety, 7 Sep. 2023 Bartz finished the year with 10 hat tricks, 10 game-winning goals and and 10 points in Warroad’s three state playoff games. USA TODAY, 31 July 2023 The United States wins its third Women’s World Cup title and first since 1999 with a 5-2 victory over Japan behind a first-half hat trick by Carli Lloyd. —Compiled by the Associated Press And finally... Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 5 July 2023 Elgin 7-2 (1) Eduardo Nava comes through with a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Riverside-Brookfield. Paul Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 19 Sep. 2023 Paige Feick, Bel Air, field hockey Feick totaled four goals and three assists in two games, including a hat trick in a win Wednesday over Fallston. Kai Gibson, Patterson Mill, boys soccer Gibson scored three goals in the Huskies’ win Tuesday over Bohemia Manor. Anthony Maluso, Baltimore Sun, 18 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hat trick.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably from the former practice of rewarding the feat with the gift of a hat

First Known Use

1869, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of hat trick was in 1869


Dictionary Entries Near hat trick

Cite this Entry

“Hat trick.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hat%20trick. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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