upper hand


Definition of upper hand

: mastery, advantage, control was determined not to let the opposition get the upper hand

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Examples of upper hand in a Sentence

finally gained the upper hand in the argument

Recent Examples on the Web

For fans of political pyrotechnics, the debate's real fireworks display was between the two Republicans, Allen and Cox, each desperate to gain the upper hand with the state's Republican base. John Myers, latimes.com, "California's would-be governors play it safe in the last real debate before June's primary," 9 May 2018 Several previous ceasefires have unraveled quickly in Syria, where government forces have gained the upper hand with the help of key allies Iran and Russia. Saphora Smith, NBC News, "Syrian troops launch ground offensive despite U.N. demand for ceasefire, witnesses say," 25 Feb. 2018 White people have always had the upper hand over people of color. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Talk to Your Family About Racism on Thanksgiving," 19 Nov. 2018 If projections hold and Democrats take control of the House, Republicans no longer have the upper hand over the entire federal government. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "The 2018 Midterm Elections," 7 Nov. 2018 But the Bulldogs regained the upper hand with three goals to close out the half, including a rocket from Morrill with 0.9 seconds left. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Yale men's lacrosse races past Albany early, advances to first title game in program history," 26 May 2018 France had the upper hand in all areas and could have scored more in the second half if not for its forwards’ profligacy in front of goal. Samuel Petrequin, The Seattle Times, "Mbappe, Griezmann, Giroud score as France routs Iceland 4-0," 25 Mar. 2019 Russia is Syrian President Bashar Assad's longtime patron and wants Western financing for Syria's reconstruction while maintaining the upper hand in discussions on Syria's political future. Fox News, "The Latest: South Sudan urges support for peace effort," 28 Sep. 2018 The food and diet industry has the upper hand here. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Willpower Is a Weight-Loss Scam That's Fueling the Diet Industry," 22 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'upper hand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of upper hand

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for upper hand

Last Updated

16 May 2019

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Time Traveler for upper hand

The first known use of upper hand was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for upper hand

upper hand


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More from Merriam-Webster on upper hand

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Spanish Central: Translation of upper hand

Nglish: Translation of upper hand for Spanish Speakers

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using a distributed computer network

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