Definition of three strikes in English:

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three strikes


[mass noun, usually as modifier] US
Legislation which makes an offender’s third felony punishable by life imprisonment or other severe sentence: we got a three strikes law here—three felonies and it’s life
More example sentences
  • The Supreme Court will rule on the three strikes law this term.
  • Most states with three strikes legislation confine it to serious violent crime.
  • That makes him eligible for life in prison under California's three strikes law and the prosecutor in the case is asking the judge to impose that life sentence.


1990s: from the phrase three strikes and you're out (with allusion to baseball).

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