- Cards. trump1(def 1a).
- Informal. something that gives one person or group the advantage over another: The surprise witness was his trump card.
Origin of trump card
Examples from the Web for trump card
The trump-card in your hand is a sight of my niece, and I'll take care you don't play it!No Name
On the other hand, I had up my sleeve a trump-card—the death and cremation of the mysterious Gabrielle Engledue.The Stretton Street Affair
William Le Queux
Of late she had been to him a valuable chattel—a trump-card, by which he could extract the good things of life out of another.The Honorable Miss
L. T. Meade
Stillness, absolute immobility, was the trump-card to be always played in the wilderness when in doubt.Kings in Exile
Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
Fate had placed what seemed like a trump-card in the hands of the patiently-manoeuvring mother.
In general, something capable of making a decisive difference when used at the right moment; in certain card games, trump is the suit designated as having precedence over the others: “The prosecutor was about to win the case, when the defense lawyer produced her trump card: an eyewitness who testified that the accused was nowhere near the scene of the crime.”
Idioms and Phrases with trump card
A key resource to gain an advantage at the opportune moment, as in That surprise witness was the defense's trump card, or She played her trump card, announcing that the Senator would speak. This expression transfers the trump card of games such as bridge, which can win over a card of another suit, to other kinds of advantage. [Early 1800s]