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

Photo: The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images For now, at least, Hong Kong’s rebels have the upper hand. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "Hong Kong’s Flickering Hopes for Freedom," 21 June 2019 The Allies, who were in control of all the major landmasses that lined the ocean, had the upper hand. Hannah Fry, The New Yorker, "Why Weather Forecasting Keeps Getting Better," 24 June 2019 The two top parties began angling for the upper hand in forming a new government in Thailand on Monday after partial results showed no group won a majority of seats in the country’s first national election since a 2014 military coup. Tassanee Vejpongsa, The Seattle Times, "Thai parties jostle for power after 1st election since coup," 25 Mar. 2019 Nearly 7,000 candidates, representing conservative, Islamist, liberal, secular, communist and military political streams, are vying for 329 seats in Iraq’s parliament and for the upper hand in electing the nation’s next prime minister and president. Washington Post, "Iraqis vote in first national election after toppling of Islamic State," 14 May 2018 Nearly 7,000 candidates, representing a slew of political blocs, were running for 329 seats in Iraq’s Parliament and for the upper hand in electing the nation’s next prime minister and president. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Iraqis vote in first national election after toppling of Islamic State," 12 May 2018 Reigns got in a few chair shots, but Lesnar ended up with the upper hand. Gene Guillot, NOLA.com, "Roman's empire: Roman Reigns is the face of the WWE," 30 Mar. 2018 Kim made a surprise visit Monday to Beijing, Bloomberg News reported, the latest in a series of diplomatic power plays as countries jockey for the upper hand in the dispute over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. David Tweed, Bloomberg.com, "Kim Jong Un and John Bolton Learned Very Different Lessons From Libya," 26 Mar. 2018 For two full periods, the U.S. men’s hockey team played with the upper hand. Elizabeth, Philly.com, "U.S. men's hockey team stalls late, loses to Slovenia in Olympics," 14 Feb. 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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Statistics for upper hand

Last Updated

11 Jul 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upper hand

Spanish Central: Translation of upper hand

Nglish: Translation of upper hand for Spanish Speakers

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