The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Ave Maria \A"ve Ma*ri"a\, Ave Mary \A"ve Ma"ry\ [From the first
words of the Roman Catholic prayer to the Virgin Mary; L. ave
hail, Maria Mary.]
1. A salutation and prayer to the Virgin Mary, as mother of
God; -- used in the Roman Catholic church.
To number Ave Maries on his beads. --Shak.
2. A particular time (as in Italy, at the ringing of the
bells about half an hour after sunset, and also at early
dawn), when the people repeat the Ave Maria.
Ave Maria ! blessed be the hour ! --Byron.