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trump card

[truhmp kahrd for 1; truhmp kahrd for 2] /ˈtrʌmp ˌkɑrd for 1; ˈtrʌmp ˈkɑrd for 2/
noun
1.
Cards. trump1 (def 1a).
2.
Informal. something that gives one person or group the advantage over another:
The surprise witness was his trump card.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for trump card
  • They hold the trump card around here, not the railroads, not the shippers.
  • And is too often used as a kind of trump card when it's nothing of the sort.
  • But the company has a strong trump card to keep it from going under entirely: patents.
  • Natural amenities, though, are the trump card for rural areas.
  • Natural amenities, though, will be the trump card for some rural areas.
  • It is not a trump card and it would be a moral error to mistake it as such.
  • With this provision, a claim of battery becomes a trump card to deportation for almost any illegal alien.
trump card in Culture

trump card definition


In general, something capable of making a decisive difference when used at the right moment; in certain card games, trump is the suit designated as having precedence over the others: “The prosecutor was about to win the case, when the defense lawyer produced her trump card: an eyewitness who testified that the accused was nowhere near the scene of the crime.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with 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 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Difficulty index for trump card

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for trump

9
12
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