trade on (something)

trade on (something)

To use something toward a calculated often exploitative profit or advantage. The butler traded on his association to the princess for years after her death. The actor trades on his good looks, but he hasn't got much talent.
See also: on, trade

trade on something

to use a fact or a situation to one's advantage. Tom was able to trade on the fact that he had once been in the army. John traded on his poor eyesight to get a seat closer to the stage.
See also: on, trade

trade on

Profit by, exploit, as in The children of celebrities often trade on their family names. [Late 1800s]
See also: on, trade

trade on

or trade upon
v.
To put something to calculated and often unscrupulous advantage; exploit something: The children of celebrities sometimes trade on their family names to receive special treatment. People expect me to trade upon my height and join the basketball team, but I play badly.
See also: on, trade