one up

See synonyms for: one-upping on

  1. having gained an advantage in some way that betokens success, especially over rivals.

  2. leading an opponent by one point or one scoring unit: The home team was one up on the visitors.

  1. one each; tied at a score of one: The score was one up in the ninth inning.

  1. Printing. with only one reproduction of a form per sheet or on a given sheet: We must print this job one up.

  2. Journalism. using one more column of space than of type.

Origin of one up

First recorded in 1920–25

Words Nearby one up

Other definitions for one-up (2 of 2)

[ wuhn-uhp ]

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

Origin of one-up

First recorded in 1960–65 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use one up in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for one-up


  1. informal having or having scored an advantage or lead over someone or something

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with one up

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® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.