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. Primarily heard in US. 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
References in classic literature ?
At that moment des Lupeaulx, coming leisurely downstairs to breakfast with the minister, was asking himself whether, before playing a trump card for the husband, it might not be prudent to probe the wife's heart and make sure of a reward for his devotion.
For those in the dark, a trump card can be used franchise to buy back a player they hadn't retained at the start of the auction.
When it comes to betting on big business, The Donald always pulls out a Trump card.