Definition of wicket in US English:



  • 1A small door or gate, especially one beside or in a larger one.

    • ‘Outside in the yard was a storm water drain which was used as an urinal and a water barrel for collecting the water from the roof and the slated stone buildings, a wicket gate leading to a dry toilet at the and of the garden.’
    • ‘The style of the gate should match the house: a wicket gate would look out of place in a smart city setting, whereas antique wrought iron might lead to expectations that a cottage garden fails to meet.’
    • ‘Hastily, the girl slid backwards on hands and knees behind the nearest tree, and watched as they opened the wicket gate and walked down the track deeper into the forest.’
    barrier, wicket gate, lychgate, five-barred gate, turnstile
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1North American An opening in a door or wall, often fitted with glass or a grille and used for selling tickets or a similar purpose.
      • ‘The barred wicket opened and shut, and the door creaked ajar.’
      • ‘As to privacy, Mr Husain complained of the wicket in the door.’
    2. 1.2North American One of the wire hoops on a croquet course.
      • ‘The wickets are metal or wire pieces that look like miniature arches and are located throughout the croquet course.’
      • ‘Each player takes a croquet mallet and must only use the striking end, not the side, when moving their ball through the croquet wickets.’
  • 2Cricket
    Each of the sets of three stumps with two bails across the top at either end of the pitch, defended by a batsman.

    • ‘But if the bowler can knock the bails off the wickets, the batsman is out.’
    • ‘The aisle also wears a green colour complete with wickets and bails.’
    • ‘It was there that Robert and his pupils played cricket on a pitch marked out by wickets of willow sticks.’
    • ‘Yes, it's the fast bowler strutting his stuff: running up to the wicket; wrecking a batsman's stumps.’
    • ‘It's a great place to play cricket and the wickets are probably the best batting wickets in the world.’
    1. 2.1 The prepared strip of ground between the wickets.
      • ‘It thus becomes important for us to prepare fast and bouncy wickets at home, so that our batsmen get used to these surfaces.’
      • ‘So we sat around while a new wicket was prepared and cut, which was the only way of playing.’
      • ‘The fact that the wicket was a perfect batting strip makes it more disappointing.’
      • ‘The wicket and outfield was so batsman friendly that any batsman worth his salt could have turned the match on its head.’
      • ‘You can spend some time at the crease, get used to the bowler's action, the ground, the wicket.’
    2. 2.2 The dismissal of a batsman; each of ten dismissals regarded as marking a division of a side's innings.
      ‘Darlington won by four wickets’
      • ‘Man-of-the-match Hill snatched four quick wickets as the home side found themselves in disarray on 47-6.’
      • ‘They went on to win by four wickets when the winning runs were scored in the 16th over.’
      • ‘Dringhouses maintained their good start in division two as they beat a fancied Sewerby side by four wickets.’
      • ‘He took 2-37 and then rapped out 61 off only 36 balls with 12 fours as his side won by seven wickets.’
      • ‘That did not stop India from totalling a record fourth innings score of 406 runs for four wickets to win the match.’


  • a sticky wicket

    • 1A pitch that has been drying after rain and is difficult to bat on.

      • ‘Grange had made 91-4 on a sticky wicket against Wheldrake, who had enjoyed a good win over Ovington in the first round.’
      • ‘The Bears were sent in on a sticky wicket and were soon in trouble at 3-7.’
      • ‘Supporters heading to today's game at Wandella would be pleased to know that the rain also failed to turn Wandella Road into a sticky wicket.’
      • ‘True, it spoke without much inflection, as if reporting a cricket score from a sticky wicket.’
      1. 1.1informal in singularA tricky or awkward situation.
        ‘the problem of who sits where can create a sticky wicket’
        • ‘If Mark is leaving because of rumoured budget cuts, the person coming in is on a sticky wicket straight away.’
        • ‘Hardly a hot bed of rap music so I think they were on a sticky wicket right from the start.’
        • ‘It was obvious by his address that the new Governor did not want to start his innings on a sticky wicket, hence his eagerness to disassociate himself with reports which referred to his closeness to the Gandhi family.’
        • ‘With increasing education levels, and rising standards of living (with rising expectations) China's fascist rulers are on a sticky wicket.’
        • ‘The Taoiseach is certainly batting on a sticky wicket - if you'll excuse the cricket term - but it fills the bill aptly here.’
        • ‘English cricket looks to be on a sticky wicket in the aftermath of the national team's disappointing exit from the World Cup.’
        • ‘It's a bit of a sticky wicket, but we've got to put something back and we must try to look at the whole picture.’
        • ‘The Democratic Presidential nominee, who has been railing against outsourcing, is walking on a sticky wicket on the issue.’
        • ‘Fighting ‘globalisation’ always was a sticky wicket for the radical Left.’
        • ‘The controlling group needs to know they are going to be on a sticky wicket with this.’
  • take a wicket

    • (of a bowler or a fielding side) dismiss a batsman.

      • ‘Two years later, he took a wicket with his first ball in first-class cricket, and became a key part of a side which dominated county cricket in the Edwardian era, if not in terms of titles, certainly in the public's imagination.’
      • ‘He bowled straight and full, took a wicket and dried up the runs at both ends, so that only 19 came off five overs.’
      • ‘He took a wicket with his first ball of the match, trapping Robinson leg before after Leicestershire decided to bat first at Grace Road.’
      • ‘Australia have a habit of taking a wicket or wickets very early on a day, or very early in a session.’
      • ‘He was the only Wharfedale bowler to take a wicket, finishing with five for 34 as the other three wickets in a total of 160 for eight fell to run outs.’
      • ‘He quite rightly deserved a standing ovation from the 1000-strong crowd, and he also received a smattering of applause from the Zimbabwe bowlers, who were relieved at finally taking a wicket.’
      • ‘The early dismissal meant that Sami, who rarely looked like taking a wicket before that passage of play, had something in the bank to show.’
      • ‘Nehra had never looked like taking a wicket and he bowled 9 overs for 75 runs, including conceding 13 runs in his last two overs.’
      • ‘Hat tricks, in which a bowler takes a wicket with three consecutive balls, are fairly uncommon.’
      • ‘He also bowled three overs, at a rather more sedate pace than in his youth, and took a wicket - Gloucester's top-scorer Captain MA Green, who later managed England on tour overseas.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘small door or grille’): from Anglo-Norman French and Old Northern French wiket; origin uncertain, usually referred to the Germanic root of Old Norse vīkja ‘to turn, move’. Cricket senses date from the late 17th century.