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

But firefighters have gotten the upper hand on the fires, and residents who were forced to evacuate have been allowed to return home. Andrea Castillo, latimes.com, "'I have happy tears,' Goleta resident says after finding his home survived destructive wildfire," 9 July 2018 Aided by helicopters and airplanes dropping water and retardant, firefighters appeared to have the upper hand on the flames by nightfall, and temperatures were expected to cool Saturday. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Firefighters battle blazes in Alpine and elsewhere as temperatures soar past 100," 6 July 2018 The tussle between ride hailing apps and drivers continues—and the drivers may have just gotten the upper hand. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Uber and Lyft Drivers Could Be Getting a Serious Raise in New York City," 3 July 2018 Looking at the broader policy landscape, the poll found that Republicans have regained the upper hand on dealing with economic issues. Janet Hook, WSJ, "Tax Overhaul Remains Unpopular, Poll Shows," 16 Apr. 2018 But while Republicans have regained the upper hand on handling taxes generally, the tax reform signed by the president late last year remains fairly unpopular. NBC News, "Republicans regain advantage on dealing with the economy," 16 Apr. 2018 Cold and fever germs usually run their course, and the immune system eventually gets the upper hand. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, "Fact or Fiction?: Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever," 3 Jan. 2014 When Trump fired the opening salvo of his trade war with China, many observers believed that Xi would have the upper hand. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "After Trump’s New Tariff Threat, China Seeks Strategy for Retaliation," 11 July 2018 For now, at least, Vertex appears to have the upper hand because federal law requires the state to cover Orkambi, although the state can limit its use. Katie Thomas, New York Times, "A Drug Costs $272,000 a Year. Not So Fast, Says New York State.," 24 June 2018

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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Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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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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upper hand


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Spanish Central: Translation of upper hand

Nglish: Translation of upper hand for Spanish Speakers

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the setting in which something occurs

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