hat trick

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See also: hattrick, hat-trick, and Hattrick


Alternative forms[edit]


c.1877, originally from cricket, meaning the taking of three wickets with three consecutive balls. Allegedly, a hat trick entitled the bowler to receive a commemorative hat from his club, or alternatively it may have entitled him to pass the hat for a cash collection.


  • enPR: hătʹrĭk, IPA(key): /ˈhætɹɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ætɹɪk


hat trick (plural hat tricks)

  1. (cricket) Three wickets taken by a bowler in three consecutive balls.
  2. (ice hockey, soccer) Three goals scored by one player in a game, in ice hockey usually followed by fans throwing their hats onto the rink.
    After Jones' hat trick, the attendants had to pick up about 75 hats from the ice.
  3. (rugby) Three tries scored by one player in a game.
  4. (sports, by extension) Three achievements in a single game, or similar, such as three consecutive wins.
    A "Gordie Howe hat trick" comprises a goal, an assist, and a fighting major penalty.
    The car salesman came home with front-row seats after turning a hat trick at work.
  5. (baseball, ironic) The act of striking out three times in one game.
    Jones got a hat trick yesterday. Let's see if he can do something today.
  6. (by extension) Three incidents or achievements that occur together.
    • 2002, Douglas Heil, Prime Time Authorship: Works About and by Three TV Dramatists, →ISBN:
      And with the debut of his new series Hyperion Bay in 1998, Dougherty accomplished the rare "hat trick" in television: the pilot was written, executive-produced, and codirected by Dougherty.
    • 2015, Les Roberts, The Ashtabula Hat Trick: A Milan Jacovich Mystery, →ISBN:
      Three murders in less than two weeks. That's a hat trick.
    • 2017, Laura Spinney, Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World, page 1473523923:
      To pull this off, the authority required three things: the ability to identify cases in a timely fashion, and so determine the infection's direction of travel; an understanding of how the disease spread (by water? air? insect vector?), and hence the measures that were likely to block it; and some means of ensuring compliance with those measures. When all three of these ingredients – which we'll describe in more detail in the following sections – were in place, containment could be extremely effective, but a hat-trick was rare.
  7. (UK politics, historical) A means of securing a seat in the House of Commons by placing one's hat upon it.
  8. Any magic trick performed with a hat.

Derived terms[edit]