- the art or practice of achieving, demonstrating, or assuming superiority in one's rivalry with a friend or opponent by obtaining privilege, status, status symbols, etc.: the one-upmanship of getting into the president's car pool.
Also one-ups·man·ship [wuhn-uhps-muh n-ship] /ˈwʌnˈʌps mənˌʃɪp/.
Origin of one-upmanship
Also called upmanship, upsmanship.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for one-upmanship
Too often we focus on one-upmanship and demonization of those whose points of view are different from our own.Roland Martin Made Mistakes in Tweets Deemed Antigay but Is No Homophobe
February 16, 2012
The gesture strikes me as hostile, and vaguely chauvinistic; how pathetic, I think, that his impulse is one-upmanship.The Art of Silence
May 6, 2010
A call girl's idea of one-upmanship—which is far more beneficial to the men she sees—is being more discreet than the next girl.Call Girls Out-Class Mistresses
December 6, 2009
Arab leaders, too, must put an end to the pattern of one-upmanship over Palestine.Seeking a Quick Exit in Gaza
January 2, 2009
- informal the art or practice of achieving or maintaining an advantage over others, often by slightly unscrupulous means
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