AskDefine | Define wicket

The Collaborative Dictionary

Wicket \Wick"et\, n. [OE. wiket, OF. wiket, guichet, F. quichet; probably of Scand. origin; cf. Icel. v?k a small creek, inlet, bay, vik a corner.] [1913 Webster]
A small gate or door, especially one forming part of, or placed near, a larger door or gate; a narrow opening or entrance cut in or beside a door or gate, or the door which is used to close such entrance or aperture. Piers Plowman. "Heaven's wicket." --Milton. [1913 Webster] And so went to the high street, . . . and came to the great tower, but the gate and wicket was fast closed. --Ld. Berners. [1913 Webster] The wicket, often opened, knew the key. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]
A small gate by which the chamber of canal locks is emptied, or by which the amount of water passing to a water wheel is regulated. [1913 Webster]
(Cricket) (a) A small framework at which the ball is bowled. It consists of three rods, or stumps, set vertically in the ground, with one or two short rods, called bails, lying horizontally across the top. (b) The ground on which the wickets are set. [1913 Webster]
A place of shelter made of the boughs of trees, -- used by lumbermen, etc. [Local, U. S.] --Bartlett. [1913 Webster]
(Mining) The space between the pillars, in postand-stall working. --Raymond. [1913 Webster] Wicket door, Wicket gate, a small door or gate; a wicket. See def. 1, above. --Bunyan. Wicket keeper (Cricket), the player who stands behind the wicket to catch the balls and endeavor to put the batsman out. [1913 Webster]

Word Net



1 cricket equipment consisting of a set of three stumps topped by crosspieces; used in playing cricket
2 a small arch used as croquet equipment [syn: hoop]
3 small gate or door (especially one that is part of a larger door) [syn: wicket door, wicket gate]
4 small opening (like a window in a door) through which business can be transacted [syn: lattice, grille]

Moby Thesaurus

bay, bay window, bow window, casement, casement window, fan window, fanlight, grille, lancet window, lantern, lattice, light, louver window, oriel, pane, picture window, port, porthole, rose window, skylight, transom, window, window bay, window glass, windowpane



From Old Northern French wiket, cognate with Old (and modern) French guichet, perhaps from Germanic. Perhaps, even closer, from Anglo-Norman wicket.



  1. A small door or gate, especially one associated with a larger one
  2. A small window or other opening, sometimes fitted with a grating
  3. One of the two wooden structures at each end of the pitch, consisting of three vertical stumps and two bails; the target for the bowler, defended by the batsman
  4. A dismissal; the act of a batsman getting out
  5. The period during which two batsmen bat together
  6. The pitch
  7. The area around the stumps where the batsmen stand
  8. (Croquet) Any of the small arches through which the balls are driven
  9. : A temporary metal attachment that one attaches one's lift-ticket to.

Derived terms

In the sport of cricket the word wicket has several distinct meanings:

Meanings of wicket

Set of stumps

Primarily, the wicket is one of the two sets of three stumps and two bails at either end of the pitch (dimensions). The wicket is guarded by a batsman who, with his bat, attempts to prevent the ball from hitting the wicket.
The origin of the word is from the standard definition of wicket as a small gate. Historically, cricket wickets had only two stumps and one bail and looked like a gate.

Dismissing a batsman

Wicket also refers to the event of a batsman getting out. The batsman is said to have lost his wicket if dismissed by a bowler, while the bowler is said to have taken his wicket. The number of wickets taken is the primary measure of a bowler's ability.
For a batsman to be dismissed by being bowled, run out, stumped or hit wicket, his wicket needs to be put down. What this means is defined by Law 28 of the Laws of cricket. The wicket is put down if a bail is completely removed from the top of the stumps, or a stump is struck out of the ground by the ball, the striker's bat, the striker's person (or by any part of his clothing or equipment becoming detached from his person), a fielder (with his hand or arm) and providing that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used. The wicket is also put down if a fielder pulls a stump out of the ground in the same manner.
If one bail is off, removing the remaining bail or striking or pulling any of the three stumps out of the ground is sufficient to put the wicket down. A fielder may remake the wicket, if necessary, in order to put it down to have an opportunity of running out a batsman.
If the umpires have agreed to dispense with bails, because, for example, it is too windy for the bails to remain on the stumps, the decision as to whether the wicket has been put down is one for the umpire concerned to decide. After a decision to play without bails, the wicket has been put down if the umpire concerned is satisfied that the wicket has been struck by the ball, by the striker's bat, person, or items of his clothing or equipment separated from his person as described above, or by a fielder with the hand holding the ball or with the arm of the hand holding the ball.


The sequence of time over which two particular batsmen bat together, a partnership, is referred to as a specifically numbered wicket when discriminating it from other partnerships in the innings.
  • The first wicket partnership is from the start of the innings until a first batsman gets out.
  • The second wicket partnership is from when a first batsman gets out until a second batsman gets out.
  • etc...
  • The tenth wicket or last wicket partnership is from when a ninth batsman gets out until a tenth batsman gets out.

Winning by number of wickets

A team can win a match by a certain number of wickets. This means that they were batting last, and reached the winning target with a certain number of batsmen still not dismissed. A team's innings ends when ten batsmen are dismissed, so, for example, if the side scored the required number of runs to win with only three batsmen dismissed, they are said to have won by seven wickets.

The pitch

The word wicket is also sometimes used to refer to the cricket pitch itself. According to the Laws of Cricket, this usage is incorrect, but it is in common usage and commonly understood by cricket followers. This usage probably derives from the days when the outfield was kept short by grazing sheep on it and the playing surface, which was specially prepared, was protected from them by a light wicker fence around it. Since many regular grounds had resident bat-makers it is quite possible that the branches cut off from the willow wood used for the bats formed all or part of this fence. Much willow is employed in making wicker-work.
The term sticky wicket refers to a situation in which the pitch has become damp, typically due to rain or high humidity. This makes the path of the ball more unpredictable thus making the job of defending the stumps that much more difficult. The full phrase is thought to have originally been "to bat on a sticky wicket." Such pitches were commonplace at all levels of the game (i.e. up to Test Match level) until the late 1950s.
wicket in German: Wicket
wicket in Scottish Gaelic: Cachaileith
wicket in Marathi: बळी(क्रिकेट)
wicket in Polish: Wicket
wicket in Swedish: Cricket#Plan_och_utrustning
wicket in Chinese: 三柱门
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