up the ante

Definition of up the ante

  1. 1 :  to raise the cost or price The popular actor first demanded twice the salary offered him but then kept upping the ante.

  2. 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. 3 :  to set a higher standard or goal —often + on The film ups the ante on special effects.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  in or into a higher position or level

    :  away from the center of the earth

    :  from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  1. :  risen above the horizon

    :  standing

    :  being out of bed

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

    :  up into or in the

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

  1. :  one in a high or advantageous position

    :  an upward slope

    :  a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. :  to rise from a lying or sitting position

    :  to move upward :  ascend

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

  1. :  a poker stake usually put up before the deal to build the pot

    :  cost, price

    :  risk, stakes

  1. :  to put up (an ante)

    :  pay, produce

    :  pay up

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up up the ante? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).