have/keep something up your sleeve

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have something up your sleeve

COMMON If you have something up your sleeve, you have a secret idea or plan which you can use to gain an advantage over other people. Paterson had another plan up his sleeve, however. If that failed, he had one final trick up his sleeve. We would wait to see what Bill had up his sleeve. Note: You can also just talk about something, such as a plan or a trick, that is up someone's sleeve. The manager insisted his team will use every trick up their sleeve to defeat their rivals. Note: The expressions have an ace up your sleeve and have a card up your sleeve mean the same. He always seems to have an ace up his sleeve to deal with these kinds of situations. Even his critics admit that he seems always to have a card up his sleeve. Note: If someone wanted to cheat at cards, they could hide a good card up their sleeve to use at an appropriate time.
See also: have, sleeve, something, up

have/keep something up your ˈsleeve

(informal) have a good idea, plan or piece of information which you are not telling anyone about now, but which you intend to use later: John was smiling to himself all through the meeting; I’m sure he’s got something up his sleeve.
See also: have, keep, sleeve, something, up
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