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 ?
We have collectively gained the upper hand on the design issues sufficient to begin production of the MIL-ADF submarine antenna.
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.
THE United States gained the upper hand over Europe in the fourballs at the Solheim Cup to take a 2.
In eastern Washington state, meanwhile, crews gained the upper hand on a wildfire that had prompted the evacuation of a small town.
Having started shakily, Colchester slowly gained the upper hand and Rowan Vine stung Jason Achterberg's fingertips with a long-range effort shortly before Andrews' equaliser.
Liverpool gained the upper hand with the goal of the game as Hart blasted the ball in from 20 yards on 50 minutes but the visitors bounced back through Stacey Aisthorpe.
Prince Dundee, trained by Jim Neville, gained the upper hand over Pace Stalker after the last flight of the Levy Board Novices' Handicap Hurdle to score by two and a half lengths.
Tech gained the upper hand in the eight computer rankings - the BCS uses seven and discards the lowest rating.
Moore gained the upper hand and $210,000 cash with a prototype split-tail grub that he was flipping while sight-fishing in protected pockets outside Indian Creek.
Selling gained the upper hand as a bearish performance in Shanghai stocks fanned speculation that the Chinese economic growth would slow down, resulting in a sluggish global economic recovery, dealers said.
Dursley contested the forward battle up front, but as the game progressed Pontyclun gained the upper hand and ran in tries from Delme Price (2), Aeron Griffin, Andrew Yates, Scott Ashcroft and Grant Lloyd to win 34-5.
Stoner knocked American Hayden off top spot on the timesheets, but the Repsol Honda rider still gained the upper hand over Italian Rossi in the title race.
Two major fires that burned nearly 1,800 acres were surrounded, and firefighters gained the upper hand on three others.