one up

having gained an advantage in some way that betokens success, especially over rivals.
leading an opponent by one point or one scoring unit: The home team was one up on the visitors.
one each; tied at a score of one: The score was one up in the ninth inning.
Printing. with only one reproduction of a form per sheet or on a given sheet: We must print this job one up.
Journalism. using one more column of space than of type.

1920–25 Unabridged


verb (used with object), one-upped, one-upping.
to get the better of; succeed in being a point, move, step, etc., ahead of (someone): They one-upped the competition.

1960–65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
informal having or having scored an advantage or lead over someone or something

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

one up

Having an advantage or lead over someone, as in Sara is one up on Jane because she passed algebra in summer school. This expression comes from sports, where it means to be one point ahead of one's opponents. It was transferred to more general use about 1920.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
When the authors were pushed by a deadline and unable to find the kind of
  quotation they wanted, they made one up.
She held one up to the light, squinted at a filthy smudge-and was astonished to
  see ghostly faces staring back at her.
You'll be tempted to scoop one up and cup it in your hands.
He toed through the dinner-plate-size granite chips that littered the floor and
  scooped one up.
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