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.
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.
Players may continue to try to buy the trump card or even to purchase cards that are face down on the chance that they will be high.
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.
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.
No developer is going to invest in a site where the lease ends in 30 years, so the trump card is still with the city council on this.
Experience was the trump card for me, '' said the 40-year-old.
The stakeholders who really hold the trump card are the moneylenders, says geologist and author Simon Winchester, who believes that the most effective way to block a project is to convince investors to steer clear.
Winning the overall title will be a tough but not impossible task for Britain and their chances will be helped by the fact that team placings are decided on the aggregate times of the first three finishers --and Radcliffe could prove the trump card if she repeats her runaway performance in the recent Great North Run.
If people were told that their fate was "hell" as the three Fatima children saw it, they would probably say "no way" but that is the trump card that is needed to be played to correct our society and government.
Significantly, despite the Franciscan victory in the long struggle for control of Margherita's cult, the Cortonese held, and still hold, the trump card, her most precious relic, her body.