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 ?
CRICKET: South Africa gained the upper hand in the Second Test against Pakistan in Lahore after a strong showing yesterday.
He gained the upper hand in the second set with a break in the fourth.
But Yamaha Italia rider Haga gained the upper hand in yesterday's first qualifying session by setting the fastest time with a lap of one minute 40.474 secs, with Toseland second.
23 WEST Park gained the upper hand in the second period in this North One clash after turning round 15-16 behind.
Ian bell wants to steer clear of political discussion as he concentrates on establishing himself as the best of an impressive bunch of young England one-day batsmen.: Kasprowicz strikes for Aussies with three wickets:Jacob oram led the charge as New Zealand fought back in the closing stages of the opening day to leave the first Test against Australia finely balanced.Oram hit an unbeaten 63 off 108 balls to help the Black Caps reach 250 for seven at stumps in Brisbane, guiding his side back after Australia had gained the upper hand earlier in the day.
Martin Hall gave the Libs the early advantage but the Snooker lads then gained the upper hand as Paul Pickersgill sank a 21 break to help level the scores before messrs Knights and Morgan overcame veteran opposition to take the last two games and snatch victory.
The Black Cats never really gained the upper hand until late in the day and Rovers will feel they should have had the game wrapped up long before the final whistle.
PHIL DOLMAN fired the only goal in the Wirral FA Junior Cup as Acorn again gained the upper hand over South Wirral League rivals Bebington Athletic to progress into the last eight.
Such talk led some liberals to believe they had gained the upper hand in the struggle with the DLC.
Title favourites Surrey gained the upper hand against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge as their seam bowlers exploited a green, welrassed pitch.
Although human efforts produced some amazing results and, especially in the early nineteenth century, seemed to have gained the upper hand, ultimately nature won out, most obviously in the form of flooding caused by hurricanes and simple depletion of the already poor soil.
At the July conference, biologist Keith Clay of Indiana University in Bloomington presented evidence that fungal parasites have gained the upper hand over certain wild grasses native to Indiana and sedges growing in the marshes of Louisiana.
The Tuesday killings that occurred in the village of Hatlah in Deir Ezzor Province came as Syrian troops gained the upper hand against the militant groups across the country.
But the announcement of the agreement by EU leaders heartened investors in the afternoon and buying gained the upper hand in a wide range of shares, the analysts said.
BRITISH soldiers tasked with protecting a vital dam in Afghanistan say they have gained the upper hand against insurgents.