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

Boys are raised seek the upper hand to avoid humiliation, explains Shea. Jessica Wakeman, Glamour, "Men Who Scream at Work Aren't "Passionate." They're Abusive.," 4 Sep. 2018 Both had chances to gain the upper hand much earlier Friday. Howard Fendrich, BostonGlobe.com, "Kevin Anderson outlasts John Isner in second-longest match in Wimbledon history," 13 July 2018 And yet, Yalta prevailed 2-1, seeming to gain the upper hand before playing host to the second leg of the playoff. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "Stuck in Soccer Limbo, in the Shadow of the World Cup," 2 July 2018 Not surprisingly, an insufferable comment war has broken out on the restaurants’ Yelp and Facebook pages, with trolls supporting Trump and Sanders gaining the upper hand thus far. Chas Danner, Daily Intelligencer, "Sarah Huckabee Sanders Was Asked to Leave Restaurant Over Her Work for Trump," 23 June 2018 Only if the bond market repeats the blowup of 2011-12 does Europe gain the upper hand. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Attention, Italy: Worry About Markets, Not Europe," 7 June 2018 But even though he's caught, Philip gains the upper hand. Kristi Turnquist, OregonLive.com, "'The Americans' ends with a surprising, devastating finale," 31 May 2018 The Chinese returned that July en masse and gained the upper hand after Gen. Maxwell Taylor, commander of the U.S. Eighth Army and United Nations forces in Seoul, decided to abandon the hill at that point. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, "Joseph Clemons Jr., hero of Pork Chop Hill, dies at 90," 22 May 2018 Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton claimed that West Brom got the upper hand in their clash on Saturday after Jonny Evans' early goal, with the hosts going on to double their lead through Craig Dawson. SI.com, "Chris Hughton Claims Seagulls' Lacking Creativity After Slumping to 'Disappointing' West Brom Defeat," 14 Jan. 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

14 Nov 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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What made you want to look up upper hand? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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