trump card


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

trump card

1. A designated card in some card games that ranks above all others. The only way I can win this hand is if I get the trump card.
2. A resource used to gain an advantage over others, often by being held and then used at an opportune time. I have a feeling the prosecution still hasn't played their trump card in this trial—I expect a big revelation during tomorrow's testimony.
See also: card, trump

trump card

A key resource to gain an advantage at the opportune moment, as in That surprise witness was the defense's trump card, or She played her trump card, announcing that the Senator would speak. This expression transfers the trump card of games such as bridge, which can win over a card of another suit, to other kinds of advantage. [Early 1800s]
See also: card, trump

someone's trump card

COMMON Your trump card is something which gives you an important advantage over other people and makes it very likely that you will succeed. After only two days, the distribution of goods was suffering: and that is the railwaymen's trump card. He said that the measure was his trump card in his plan to prevent electoral fraud. Note: You can say that someone holds the trump card when they have an advantage like this. In terms of passion and commitment, Ireland held every trump card. Note: If someone plays their trump card, they do something unexpected which gives them an important advantage over other people. She could threaten to play her trump card, an autobiography that would embarrass many important people. Note: In card games such as whist and bridge, one of the four suits is chosen as trumps for each hand. Cards of that suit then rank higher than cards of the other three suits.
See also: card, trump

a/your ˈtrump card

something that gives you an advantage over other people, especially when they do not know what it is and you are able to use it to surprise them: Many schools use small classes as their trump card in marketing campaigns.He waited until the last minute to play his trump card and tell them about his plans to cut costs.
In some card games, one of the four suits is chosen to have a higher value than the others. The cards in that suit are trump cards.
See also: card, trump
References in periodicals archive ?
Teams want trump cards to be included in five- player retention
This match is notable because her uncle believes her to be "at least three thousand pounds short of any equitable claim" to Sir Thomas, indicating she got her trump card at a bargain (3).
Trump Card will appreciate stepping back up to a mile and a half tonight and, 3lb better off with Six Silver Lane and with regular partner Billy Lee again on board, he should prove tough to beat.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, with T20 being a format that requires versatility, Bailey believes Australia will boast a major trump card at the upcoming World Cup in Watson's bowling, adding that it is pleasing to know that Watson can still bowl at speeds around 138 km/h like he did against South Africa.
Teams can retain up to 8players with the introduction of three trump cards
After the sea of information and everyday press conferences, what do the parties have left as a trump card in the pre-election campaign?
And with a trump card like that to play, is the keeper likely to turn off the water?
The Wii's trump card over its competitors is the motion-sensing gameplay, and this is superbly executed in The Conduit, immediately driving it to the top of the list on the system.
Their trump card this week could become one of their biggest sellers yet.
JAGUAR Land Rover's multi-billion pound investment in 'green' technology could be the trump card that secures Treasury backing for government support, it emerged today.
Developed in the 1930s, it was a trump card in the hands of the Allies during the Second World War and played a crucial part in operations throughout the world, transporting everything from paratroopers to potatoes.
FOR all its electronic wizardry and sumptuous appointment the XF's trump card is the way it performs on the road.
Michael Hussey, cast as the opposite number on the card to the hosts' NatWest Series trump card - and faring exceptionally well himself in that guise - reports the Aussies believe they may have learned some lessons from their mauling at Bristol two days ago As Ricky Ponting's side prepare to do battle for the second time with the hosts in the triangular series, tomorrow at Chesterle-Street, Hussey hints they may already have picked up a few clues about how to make life a bit tougher for Pietersen.
Another Schwarzenegger trump card is voter dissatisfaction with the way the state is being run.
Appreciative readers of Donne's Holy Sonnets will likely object to several of Oliver's claims - for example, that "their speakers frequently sound as if they are fabricating states of mind" (111), that their "melodramatic posturing" (115) reveals no more than the poet's "sham piety" (119), that "we laugh (or whatever) with the poet, at the speaker" (121) when he "ask[s] for righteousness to be imputed to him" (121), or (to quote more extensively) that "the theatrical flourish with which the speaker produces his Calvinist trump card should alert us to the danger of assuming that Donne himself is doing any more than he does in the Songs and Sonnets, where he makes use of contemporary or recently jettisoned orthodoxies .