trump card

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trump card

1. A designated card in some card games that ranks above all others. The only way I can win this hand is if I get the trump card.
2. A resource used to gain an advantage over others, often by being held and then used at an opportune time. I have a feeling the prosecution still hasn't played their trump card in this trial—I expect a big revelation during tomorrow's testimony.
See also: card, trump

trump card

A key resource to gain an advantage at the opportune moment, as in That surprise witness was the defense's trump card, or She played her trump card, announcing that the Senator would speak. This expression transfers the trump card of games such as bridge, which can win over a card of another suit, to other kinds of advantage. [Early 1800s]
See also: card, trump

someone's trump card

COMMON Your trump card is something which gives you an important advantage over other people and makes it very likely that you will succeed. After only two days, the distribution of goods was suffering: and that is the railwaymen's trump card. He said that the measure was his trump card in his plan to prevent electoral fraud. Note: You can say that someone holds the trump card when they have an advantage like this. In terms of passion and commitment, Ireland held every trump card. Note: If someone plays their trump card, they do something unexpected which gives them an important advantage over other people. She could threaten to play her trump card, an autobiography that would embarrass many important people. 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.
See also: card, trump

a/your ˈtrump card

something that gives you an advantage over other people, especially when they do not know what it is and you are able to use it to surprise them: Many schools use small classes as their trump card in marketing campaigns.He waited until the last minute to play his trump card and tell them about his plans to cut costs.
In some card games, one of the four suits is chosen to have a higher value than the others. The cards in that suit are trump cards.
See also: card, trump
References in classic literature ?
He knew that his opponent was simply playing to gain time, but, after all, he held the trump card. He could afford to wait.
The Trump cards of Hafiz Saeed and Afghanistan may not be enough: it will be interesting to see if Khan will risk sacrificing domestic popularity and acquiescence to more social and progressive reforms.
The pace battery of the English side will be supported by their three frontline pacers Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett while Tom Curran and David Willey can be the trump card for them.
As they fight, Tischbier pulls out the trump card - Ingrid will get a kidney transplant, with Martin the donor.
But most of the franchises aren't happy with the development and they have asked the IPL governing council to reconsider the decision and have forwarded the proposal of restricting the retention -- including usage of the trump card -- to five players.
Once this negotiation is settled, the player to the dealer's left (or to the left of the person who now owns the trump card) turns one card face up.
The economy was the trump card that helped the incumbent government win the elections in 2006.
However, the trump card is its multiplayer options where you can play online in a robust drop in/drop out co-op mode for up to three players.
Ennis held the trump card as the fastest performer in the 800m - despite the pouring rain.
SCHOOLCHILDREN are proving they've got the trump card in the battle against crime.
JAGUAR Land Rover's multi-billion pound investment in 'green' technology could be the trump card that secures Treasury backing for government support, it emerged today.
Quality is the trump card: In some cases, quality is a stronger incentive than cost.
However, Congress holds the trump card: if it doesn't act, the president's rescission is automatically rejected.
``Experience was the trump card for me, '' said the 40-year-old.
Ma reports that Chinese newspapers have sharply increased coverage of environmental issues, and he calls the Internet "the trump card." Bulletin board sites and blogs extend far beyond newspapers in reaching China's 80 million web users.