verb (used with object)

Nearby words

  1. carcinomatous,
  2. carcinomatous myopathy,
  3. carcinophobia,
  4. carcinosarcoma,
  5. carcinosis,
  6. card catalog,
  7. card catalogue,
  8. card clothing,
  9. card counter,
  10. card file


Origin of card

1350–1400; Middle English carde, unexplained variant of carte Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for put one's cards on the table




a piece of stiff paper or thin cardboard, usually rectangular, with varied uses, as for filing information in an index, bearing a written notice for display, entering scores in a game, etc
such a card used for identification, reference, proof of membership, etclibrary card; identity card; visiting card
such a card used for sending greetings, messages, or invitations, often bearing an illustration, printed greetings, etcChristmas card; birthday card
one of a set of small pieces of cardboard, variously marked with significant figures, symbols, etc, used for playing games or for fortune-telling
  1. short for playing card
  2. (as modifier)a card game
  3. (in combination)cardsharp
informal a witty, entertaining, or eccentric person
Also called: race card horse racing a daily programme of all the races at a meeting, listing the runners, riders, weights to be carried, distances to be run, and conditions of each race
a thing or action used in order to gain an advantage, esp one that is concealed and kept in reserve until needed (esp in the phrase a card up one's sleeve)
short for printed circuit cardSee printed circuit board
See also cards

Word Origin for card

C15: from Old French carte, from Latin charta leaf of papyrus, from Greek khartēs, probably of Egyptian origin




(tr) to comb out and clean fibres of wool or cotton before spinning


(formerly) a machine or comblike tool for carding fabrics or for raising the nap on cloth
Derived Formscarding, nouncarder, noun

Word Origin for card

C15: from Old French carde card, teasel, from Latin carduus thistle

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

Word Origin and History for put one's cards on the table
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with put one's cards on the table

put one's cards on the table

see lay one's cards on the table.


In addition to the idioms beginning with card

  • card in
  • cards are stacked against
  • card up one's sleeve

also see:

  • hold all the aces (the trump card)
  • house of cards
  • in the cards
  • lay one's cards on the table
  • play one's cards close to one's chest

play one's cards righttrump cardwild card.

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