gain the upper hand


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gain the upper hand

To come to be in a position of advantage, power, and/or control (over someone, something, or some situation). We've been doing everything we can for your father, but I'm afraid the cancer is gaining the upper hand. The home team gained the upper hand when their opponents' star quarterback went out with an injury.
See also: gain, hand, upper

get, have, gain, etc. the ˌupper ˈhand (over somebody)

get, etc. power or control over somebody, especially in a fight, competition, etc: Our team gained the upper hand in the second half of the match.The police claim they have the upper hand in their fight against the drug dealers.
See also: hand, upper
References in periodicals archive ?
Liverpool recovered well from a defensive disaster at Watford to gain the upper hand in their Champions League qualifier against Hoffenheim, but a big question mark remains over Jurgen Klopp's zonal marking system.
Karabukspor could well gain the upper hand tonight, leaving Fenerbahce with hard work to do at home.
IT TOOK North One outfit Hull a long time to gain the upper hand in this EDF Energy Trophy clash.
A characters' super-special 'Way Out Wacky Power', which can be used to gain the upper hand over sly opponents, is also up for grabs.
But the buying failed to gain the upper hand in the bond market as some investors sold bonds ahead of the auction, traders said.
Real Madrid put their recent troubles aside to gain the upper hand in their Champions League tie against Bayern Munich last night.
Darlington's Brian Close and Alun Armstrong featured heavily as the visitors began to gain the upper hand late in the match, ensuring that the home side were unable to respond and sealing the win.
The front nine was closefought with neither the Warwickshire pair nor their opponents from East Cork able to gain the upper hand.
When less CTLA-4 is available, CD28 can gain the upper hand and rev up an immune response, contributing to autoimmune disease, Wicker and her colleagues hypothesize.
After a scoreless first leg it took the visitors only five minutes to gain the upper hand when Robert Cockings set up Jason Bird who finished from 18 yards.
Sheldon saw his firmly hit drive brilliantly beaten out by Cardiff goalkeeper Kelly in a rare Scunthorpe attack, as the home side gradually began to gain the upper hand.
Stourbridge allowed Winnington Park to gain the upper hand, with tries by Phil Aiken and Mark Peterson and a Phil Shaw conversion putting the visitors into a deserved 17-15 lead, until Stourbridge rallied.