Capitol vs. capital? What's the difference?

upper hand

the dominating or controlling position; advantage:
to have the upper hand in the fight.
Origin of upper hand
1475-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for upper hand
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When the Puritans had gained the upper hand they proceeded to the suppression not only of abuses, but of the festival itself.

  • No doubt if Feversham gains the upper hand there will be bloody work.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • He on his part will try and avoid you and get the upper hand himself.

    India and the Indians Edward F. Elwin
  • Never let yer wark get the upper hand o' yer wages—them's my maxims.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • And reason gained the upper hand, though Dozier continued to look at Andrew in a fascinated manner.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
British Dictionary definitions for upper hand

upper hand

the upper hand, the position of control; advantage (esp in the phrases have or get the upper hand)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with upper hand

upper hand

Also, whip hand. A dominating or controlling position, as in Once you let Jeff get the upper hand there'll be no stopping him, or When it comes to checkers, my son-in-law generally has the whip hand. The first term alludes to an ancient game in which each player in turn grasps a stick with one hand, beginning from the bottom, and the last who can put his hand at the top wins. Its figurative use dates from the late 1400s. The variant alludes to the driver who holds the whip in a horse-drawn vehicle; it was being used figuratively by the late 1600s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for upper hand

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for upper

Scrabble Words With Friends