from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Roman Catholic Church A prayer based on the greetings of Gabriel and Saint Elizabeth to the Virgin Mary. Also called Ave Maria.
- n. Football A long pass thrown in desperation, especially near the end of a game.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A prayer calling for the intercession of the Holy Mother, for Catholics an essential element of the rosary, and with use in certain other denominations.
- n. A long forward pass with little chance of completion, typically used when time is running out and no other play is practical.
- n. An act done in desperation, with only a very small chance of success.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- interj. a form of prayer made use of in the Roman Catholic Church in invocation of the Virgin. See Ave Maria.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a salutation to the Virgin Mary now used in prayers to her
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Gustavo dropped the mop and ran to the back of the store, saying a Hail Mary peppered with swearwords as he went, wondering if those were footsteps he heard behind him, or the echoes of his own footfalls resounding through the deserted store.