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n. pl. Hail Marys
1. Roman Catholic Church A prayer based on the greetings of Gabriel and Saint Elizabeth to the Virgin Mary. Also called Ave Maria.
2. Football A long pass thrown in desperation, especially near the end of a game.
1. (Roman Catholic Church) RC Church Also called: Ave Maria a prayer to the Virgin Mary, based on the salutations of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:28) and Elizabeth (Luke 1:42) to her
2. (American Football) American football slang a very long high pass into the end zone, made in the final seconds of a half or of a game
1. Ave Maria.
2. Also called Hail′ Mar′y pass` (or play`). a long forward pass in football, esp. as a last-ditch attempt at the end of a game, where completion is considered unlikely.
[1300–50; Middle English, translation of Medieval Latin Ave Maria]