come up trumps

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Related to coming up trumps: came up trumps, turned up trumps

come up trumps

To achieve success, especially in the face of adversity. (In card games, "trumps" are the cards that have been assigned the highest value.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. After our gig got canceled, I came up trumps by finding our band an even better one!
See also: come, trump, up

come up trumps

or

turn up trumps

BRITISH
COMMON
1. If someone or something comes up trumps or turns up trumps, they are successful, often when this is not expected. Sylvester Stallone came up trumps at the US box office with his movie Cliffhanger. It is another gamble. But if it turns up trumps, he could be our next Prime Minister.
2. If people or organizations come up trumps or turn up trumps, they unexpectedly help you with your problems. He came up trumps, and invited me to stay at his home for as long as I needed to. The dear old National Health Service turned up trumps. From being barely able to sit still in February, she progressed to five days in Rome in October. Note: In card games such as whist and bridge, one of the four suits is chosen as trumps for each hand. Cards of that suit then rank higher than cards of the other three suits. The reference here is to a player drawing a trump from the pack.
See also: come, trump, up

come (or turn) up trumps

1 (of a person or situation) have a better performance or outcome than expected. 2 (of a person) be especially generous or helpful. informal, chiefly British
In bridge, whist, and similar card games, trumps are cards of the suit that has been chosen to rank above the other suits. The word trump is an alteration of triumph , which was once used in card games in the same sense.
See also: come, trump, up

ˌcome/ˌturn up ˈtrumps

(informal)
1 be very helpful or generous to somebody who has a problem: I asked a lot of people if they could lend me the money, but finally it was my sister who came up trumps.
2 do better than expected: On the day of the match the team turned up trumps (= won the game).
See also: come, trump, turn, up