an ace up one's sleeve

Definition of an ace up one's sleeve

:a powerful and often secret weapon, advantage, etc., that can be used if it is needed
  • The mayor's popularity among elderly voters gives him an ace up his sleeve for the coming election.

Word by Word Definitions

ace play
  1. : a die face marked with one spot

  2. : a playing card marked in its center with one pip

  3. : a domino end marked with one spot

  1. : to score an ace against (an opponent)

  2. : to make (a hole in golf) in one stroke

  3. : to gain a decisive advantage over : defeat

  1. : of first or high rank or quality

  1. used for a bandage with elastic properties

up play
  1. : in or into a higher position or level

  2. : from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  3. : from below the horizon

  1. : risen above the horizon

  2. : standing

  3. : being out of bed

  1. used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of

  2. : up into or in the

  3. : in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of

  1. : one in a high or advantageous position

  2. : an upward slope

  3. : a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. : to rise from a lying or sitting position

  2. : to move upward : ascend

  3. used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated

sleeve play
  1. : a part of a garment covering an arm

  2. : sleevelet

  3. : a tubular part (such as a hollow axle or a bushing) designed to fit over another part


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up an ace up one's sleeve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

readily predictable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!