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

anteplay
  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).

WORD OF THE DAY

capable of being understood in two ways

Get Word of the Day daily email!