Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
April 16th, 2015
Episode 168 of 898 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 16, 2015 is: hat trick \HAT-TRICK\ noun 1 : the retiring of three batsmen with three consecutive balls by a bowler in cricket 2 : the scoring of three goals in one game by a single player 3 : a series of three victories, successes, or related accomplishments Examples: "Scoring a celestial hat trick, the space shuttle Discovery placed its third satellite in orbit Saturday." The Houston Post, September 2, 1984 "Eleven seconds into the third period, hundreds of hats were thrown onto the ice after Flyers center Brayden Schenn apparently scored the first hat trick of his career." Sam Carchidi, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 15, 2015 Did you know? It may surprise some people to learn that the term hat trick actually originated in British cricket. A bowler who retired three batsmen with three consecutive balls in cricket was entitled to a new hat at the expense of the club to commemorate this feat. Eventually, the phrase was applied to the same player scoring three goals in any goal sport, and baseball announcers now occasionally refer to a batter who gets three hits in three turns at bat as having managed a hat trick as well. The phrase finally broadened to include any string of three important successes or achievements in any field.