raise the ante


Increase the price or cost of something, as in We'd hoped to invest in some land, but they've raised the ante and now we can't afford it. This term alludes to the ante or stakes of gambling. [Slang; late 1800s]

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