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come up trumps
To achieve success, especially in the face of adversity. (In card games, "trumps" are the cards that have been assigned the highest value.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. After our gig got canceled, I came up trumps by finding our band an even better one!
The final trumpet blast that will be sounded on Judgment Day to signal the dead to rise. The disgraceful way some people act these days makes me wonder if the last trump is coming sooner than later.
play (one's) trump card
To use a particular stratagem or resource that will give one a distinct 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'm expecting a big revelation during tomorrow's testimony. I was looking like I would get full custody of the kids, but then Mary played her trump card—pictures of me going in and out of various women's houses around the city.
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.
To conceive, concoct, or devise some idea or piece of information in a fraudulent and self-serving manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "trump" and "up." He just trumped the evidence up for his proposal and hoped no one would investigate it. Their government has a long history of trumping up charges against citizens who express dissenting opinions.
Fraudulently conceived, concocted, or devised. Hyphenated if used before a noun. It has become clear that the so-called evidence in this report is clearly trumped up. These trumped-up charges are just an excuse for the government to silence me in jail!
turn up trumps
To achieve success, especially in the face of adversity. (In card games, "trumps" are the cards that have been assigned the highest value.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. After our gig got canceled, I turned up trumps by finding our band an even better one! The team has continued turning up trumps this season after yet another remarkable victory yesterday.
hold all the acesand hold all the cards
to be in a favorable position; to be in a controlling position. (Alludes to having possession of all four aces or all the high cards in a card game.) How can I advance in my career when my competitor holds all the aces? If I held all the aces, I'd be able to do great things. I tried to get my points across, but Joan held all the cards and the board voted for her plan.
play one's trump card
1. Lit. [in certain card games] to play a card that, according to the rules of the game, outranks certain other cards and is thus able to take any card of another suit. Bob played his trump card and ended the game as the winner.
2. Fig. to use a special trick; to use one's most powerful or effective strategy or device. I won't play my trump card until I have tried everything else. I thought that the whole situation was hopeless until Mary played her trump card and solved the whole problem.
trump something up
1. to promote or boost something. They think they have to trump something up to get people to see it. They trumped up the movie so much that many people were disappointed when it finally came out.
2. to think something up; to contrive something. Do you just sit around trumping charges up against innocent people? They trumped up the charges in an effort to disgrace me.
1. heavily promoted; overly praised. (Hyphenated before nominal.) I don't care for trumped-up stuff like that movie. That movie was so trumped up. I expected to see something much better than it turned out to be.
2. made-up; contrived. They put Larry in the slammer on some trumped-up charge. It was a silly, trumped-up idea. Just forget it.
hold all the aces
Also, hold all the trumps. Be in a winning position, as in We can't argue with Jeff; he holds all the aces, or If Jean refuses, he'll reveal that he holds all the trumps and force her to give in. These expressions allude to card games in which the ace or a trump card outranks all the others. Also see play one's cards right; 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]
Concoct fraudulently, fabricate, as in They trumped up a charge of conspiracy, or She had trumped up another excuse for not doing the work. This expression, first recorded in 1695, uses trump in the sense of "devise fraudulently," a usage otherwise obsolete.
turn up trumps
End well, succeed, as in Some brief courtships and hasty marriages turn up trumps. This expression alludes to card games in which trump cards are superior to cards of other suits. [Late 1700s]
hold all the aces
If you hold all the aces, you have more advantages and more power than anyone else. When I was a teenager, I thought girls held all the aces. They hold all the aces; they are the champions and the best team in the country, and have a full-time manager. Note: In many card games, the ace is the card with the highest score.
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.
come up trumpsor
turn up trumpsBRITISH
1. If someone or something comes up trumps or turns up trumps, they are successful, often when this is not expected. Sylvester Stallone came up trumps at the US box office with his movie Cliffhanger. It is another gamble. But if it turns up trumps, he could be our next Prime Minister.
2. If people or organizations come up trumps or turn up trumps, they unexpectedly help you with your problems. He came up trumps, and invited me to stay at his home for as long as I needed to. The dear old National Health Service turned up trumps. From being barely able to sit still in February, she progressed to five days in Rome in October. 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. The reference here is to a player drawing a trump from the pack.
hold all the aceshave all the advantages.
come (or turn) up trumps1 (of a person or situation) have a better performance or outcome than expected. 2 (of a person) be especially generous or helpful. informal, chiefly British
In bridge, whist, and similar card games, trumps are cards of the suit that has been chosen to rank above the other suits. The word trump is an alteration of triumph , which was once used in card games in the same sense.
a/your ˈtrump cardsomething 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.
ˌcome/ˌturn up ˈtrumps(informal)
1 be very helpful or generous to somebody who has a problem: I asked a lot of people if they could lend me the money, but finally it was my sister who came up trumps.
2 do better than expected: On the day of the match the team turned up trumps (= won the game).
To devise something fraudulently: The corrupt cop trumped up a charge of conspiracy against the people under arrest.
hold all the aces
tv. to be in control of everything. The boss holds all the aces on this deal.
trump something up
tv. to promote or boost something. (see also trumped up.) They trumped up the movie so much that many people were disappointed when it finally came out.
1. mod. heavily promoted; overly praised. That movie was so trumped up. I expected to see something much better than it turned out to be.
2. mod. made up; contrived. They put Larry in the slammer on some trumped up charge.