Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


a period in a cricket match during which one player or one team tries to score runs

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The noun innings was originally inning and meant ‘an act of putting or getting in’. The cricketing sense, which is now always used in the form innings, dates from the 18th century.


The noun innings is a countable one, despite the final ‘s’; the plural is also innings. When talking about cricket, innings can refer both to the period of play and the number of runs scored. The term is also used in baseball, but in a slightly different form and with a somewhat different meaning. An inning in baseball is one of the nine periods into which the game is divided. The plural is, logically, innings. The old-fashioned British phrase ‘to have had a good innings‘ can be applied to someone’s career or to their life as a whole; in the latter case it means they lived a long and productive life.


In the second innings, Shan Masood, also recalled to the side, scored 69.
(enTenTen15 corpus)

Quintana pitched seven innings to reach 200 for the season.
(enTenTen15 corpus)

My time is getting near, as all my companions are moving off. Never mind–I shall have had a good innings.
(John Percy Farrar, British climber)

Related words

half, quarter, full-time, play

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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