the upper hand

Meaning(s)

1. have an advantage over someone/something

Popularity

High

Professional

High

Social

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gain the upper hand in something

Check Icon Analysis

To 'have the upper hand' means to have an advantage or more power in a given situation than others. Having 'the upper hand' puts you in a better position to make decisions or influence something. You can 'gain the upper hand' or 'get the upper hand'  as well as 'have the upper hand'. This expression is similar in meaning to 'have the advantage over' or 'have the edge over.' It can be used in professional and social contexts.

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. The team struggled in the first half, but thanks to some clever substitutions; they managed to gain the upper hand in the second.
  2. Superior camera quality gave the company's new phone the upper hand over its rivals. They made sure to make a big song and dance about that in their advertising campaign.
  3. The ruling government was willing to do whatever it took to stop the opposition from seizing the upper hand in the general election. That included making promises they knew they would never be able to keep.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. If we can anticipate all of their arguments and have a rebuttal ready, we can give ourselves the upper hand in the debate.
  2. Our development team ensure we always have the upper hand when it comes to the latest research.

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