up the ante

idiom

Definition of up the ante

1 : to raise the cost or price The popular actor first demanded twice the salary offered him but then kept upping the ante.
2 : to increase the risk or possible harm that could result from something often + on The new law ups the ante on people who cheat on their taxes.
3 : to set a higher standard or goal often + on The film ups the ante on special effects.

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