have the upper hand

(redirected from having the upper hand)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to having the upper hand: get out of hand, get a head start

have the upper hand

To have a position of advantage, power, and/or control (over someone, something, or some situation). The home team had the upper hand when their opponents' star quarterback went out with an injury. We've been doing everything we can for your father, but I'm afraid the cancer has the upper hand now.
See also: hand, have, upper
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

have (or gain) the upper hand

have (or gain) advantage or control over someone or something.
See also: hand, have, upper
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

upper hand, to have the

To be in a dominating or controlling position. This term has been around since the fifteenth century. It comes from an ancient gambling game in which each player in turn puts one hand on a stick, beginning at the bottom, and the last one able to put his hand at the top wins. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer has it, “Up, Lord, and let not man have the upper hand” (from Miles Coverdale’s translation of Psalm 9:19).
See also: have, upper
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
However, an earlier round of voting for the parliament's general secretariat showed Al-Sani'a having the upper hand by seizing 29 votes to 18 and 16 votes for MPs Ashour and Al-Qwai'n, respectively.
But Newsome were met try for try and the first half ended with West Bowling having the upper hand.
With those two working well in tandem and the pack standing up to the challenge, the hosts were having the upper hand in terms of territory and possession, while their opponents were looking edgy and making mistakes.
"Despite his opponent having the upper hand in strength Mark proved the more skilful to run out a 12-8 winner and take his place in the semi-finals where he met a Russian, Maxim Bezmaternyh, fighting on home soil.
Despite having the upper hand at scrum time, Steel struggled to cope with the Green Army's strong running and excellent support play.
But he still got it right in the neck from Jones who claimed that he robbed Wednesday of having the upper hand as Glenn Murray snatched a double to send the Yorkshire side to their first away defeat since February.
Therefore, the competition for connectivity has greatly increased among larger sell-side firms, who enjoy economies of scale and superior technological capability, having the upper hand in obtaining liquidity.
It will be the battle of the greens on Thursday with Bangladesh having the upper hand since they have a stronger batting line up and bowling attack compared to Pakistan.
Romney's victory by only eight votes in the Iowa caucuses is expected to be a boost to his quest for the Republican nomination, as he is also seen as having the upper hand in the New Hampshire primary on Jan.
Due to American officials and especially General Petraeus repeatedly lying and feeding wrong information to its nation about them having the upper hand in the Afghan situation, now that these false claims are unravelling, it has compelled them to suggest an intervention from Pakistan.
Fev are 4-6 favourites for victory with the Centurions 6-4 shots STANDINGS TOP OF CHAMPIONSHIP PWDLF ABPts Featherstone 20 18 1 1 840 348 0 56 Leigh*............20 18 1 1 776 368 0 53 Batley............20 12 0 8 498 406 5 41 Sheffield ......20 12 0 8 577 488 3 39 Widnes..........20 11 1 8 555 532 3 38 Halifax ..........20 10 0 10 569 543 6 36 *Leigh deducted 3pts despite having the upper hand this season with a win and a draw against their closest rivals.
However, the Sudanese president warned his party against feeling "relaxed" as a result of the NCP having the upper hand in the political arena.
Love is not enough in this situation and it's not a case of having the upper hand, but of having some confidence it wouldn't just happen again.
"We must be equal in rights, duties and power-sharing, without anyone having the upper hand," said Allawi, who also accuses al-Maliki of monopolising power and insists on constitutional amendments to lessen the influence of the prime minister.
Their most recent reverse came last Saturday at London Welsh where they were beaten 33-9 despite having the upper hand in the scrums.
Full browser ?