spuriously devised; fraudulent; fabricated: He was arrested on some trumped-up charge.
Origin of trumped-up
special use of trump1
; see -ed2
- any playing card of a suit that for the time outranks the other suits, such a card being able to take any card of another suit.
- Often trumps.(used with a singular verb)the suit itself.
Informal. a fine person; brick.
verb (used with object)
Cards. to take with a trump.
to excel; surpass; outdo.
verb (used without object)
- to play a trump.
- to take a trick with a trump.
trump up, to devise deceitfully or dishonestly, as an accusation; fabricate: Try as they might, they were unable to trump up a convincing case against him.
Origin of trump1
Related formstrump·less, adjective
First recorded in 1520–30;
unexplained variant of triumph
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for trumped upbogus
British Dictionary definitions for trumped up
Also called: trump card
- any card from the suit chosen as trumps
- this suit itself; trumps
Also called: trump card a decisive or advantageous move, resource, action, etc
informal a fine or reliable person
Derived Formstrumpless, adjective
to play a trump card on (a suit, or a particular card of a suit, that is not trumps)
(tr) to outdo or surpass
Word Origin for trump
C16: variant of triumph
a trumpet or the sound produced by one
the last trump the final trumpet call that according to the belief of some will awaken and raise the dead on the Day of Judgment
(intr) to produce a sound upon or as if upon the trumpet
(tr) to proclaim or announce with or as if with a fanfare
(intr) British slang to expel intestinal gas through the anus
Word Origin for trump
C13: from Old French trompe, from Old High German trumpa trumpet; compare trombone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for trumped up
"playing card of a suit ranking above others," 1520s, alteration of triumph, name of a card game.
"fabricate, devise," 1690s, from trump "deceive, cheat" (1510s), from Middle English trumpen (late 14c.), from Old French tromper "deceive," of uncertain origin, perhaps from a verb meaning "to blow a trumpet." Related: Trumped; trumping. Trumped up "false, concocted" first recorded 1728.
"trumpet," c.1300, from Old French trompe "long, tube-like musical wind instrument" (12c.), cognate with Provençal tromba, Italian tromba, all probably from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German trumpa and Old Norse trumba "trumpet"), of imitative origin.
"surpass, beat," 1580s, from trump (n.). Related: Trumped; trumping.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with trumped up
In addition to the idioms beginning with trump
- hold all the aces (trumps)
- turn up trumps
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.