Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Three goals scored by one player in one game, as in ice hockey.
  • noun Three wickets taken in cricket by a bowler in three consecutive balls.
  • noun Three consecutive wins or outstanding accomplishments by the same individual, such as a jockey in horse racing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun cricket Three wickets taken by a bowler in three consecutive balls.
  • noun ice hockey Three goals scored by one player in a game, usually followed by a shower of hats onto the ice.
  • noun sports, by extension Three achievements in a single game, or similar, such as three consecutive wins.
  • noun baseball, sarcastic Striking out three times in one game.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (sports) three consecutive scores by one player or three scores in one game (as in cricket or ice hockey etc.)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From the hat with which the feat was traditionally rewarded in cricket.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

c.1877, originally from cricket, meaning taking three wickets with three consecutive bowls. This extended to other sports. Allegedly because it entitled the bowler to receive a hat from his club, or perhaps it entitled him to pass the hat for a cash collection.

Examples

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