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 As firefighters gained the upper hand on the fire, thousands of the 140,000 residents who were still under evacuations order were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday. Sarah Ravani, SFChronicle.com, "Kincade Fire: Firefighters make progress; residents, businesses survey damage," 31 Oct. 2019 Behind Nietzsche’s array of extreme positions is a much less alarming belief: that the only healthy state for humanity is one in which rival perspectives vie with one another, with none gaining the upper hand. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Nietzsche’s Eternal Return," 7 Oct. 2019 Brown, ranked No. 7 in the Chosen 25, expressed interest in playing with other elite players, which could suggest that the Tar Heels and the Wildcats have the upper hand. Jason Jordan, USA TODAY, "College basketball: Top recruiting battles heading into National Signing Day," 11 Nov. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Bondholders appeared to have the upper hand. The Economist, "A three-way battle over control of PG&E," 9 Nov. 2019 But while the super friends seem to have the upper hand at first, the epic fight soon goes horribly wrong thanks to Malefic’s resurrected inception powers. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Supergirl clip shows epic super-fight gone horribly wrong," 26 Oct. 2019 Historically, this fixture has been evenly contested, with Burnley ever so slightly having the upper hand. SI.com, "Burnley vs Chelsea Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 24 Oct. 2019 Then again, the Gourmet character par excellence is precisely that: a man engaged in a long, losing battle with a world that will always have the upper hand. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Those Who Work' ('Ceux qui travaillent'): Film Review," 15 Oct. 2019 Love is an expression of power in the Roy household, and for once, Kendall appears to have the upper hand. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, "The second season of ‘Succession’ ended with a satisfying twist we should have seen coming," 14 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for upper hand

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for upper hand

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Upper hand.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upper%20hand. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for upper hand

upper hand


Kids Definition of upper hand

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More from Merriam-Webster on upper hand

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upper hand

Spanish Central: Translation of upper hand

Nglish: Translation of upper hand for Spanish Speakers

Comments on upper hand

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very cautious or careful

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