- the dominating or controlling position; advantage: to have the upper hand in the fight.
Origin of upper hand
Related Words for upper handsupremacy, superiority, leverage, advantage, dominance, authority, benefit, break, control, edge, favor, gain, help, improvement, lead, rule
Examples from the Web for upper hand
Historical Examples of upper hand
But at this point the fatal charlatan-element got the upper-hand.
And I knew right well how to get the upper-hand of my lovers.Margery [Gred], Complete
And yet she seemed so entirely to have the upper-hand over him.
Being of a cheerful temperament, happiness had probably the upper-hand.Our Old Home, Vol. 2
Valerius Maximus gives the reason why women had the upper-hand.
- the upper hand the position of control; advantage (esp in the phrases have or get the upper hand)
Also, whip hand. A dominating or controlling position, as in Once you let Jeff get the upper hand there'll be no stopping him, or When it comes to checkers, my son-in-law generally has the whip hand. The first term alludes to an ancient game in which each player in turn grasps a stick with one hand, beginning from the bottom, and the last who can put his hand at the top wins. Its figurative use dates from the late 1400s. The variant alludes to the driver who holds the whip in a horse-drawn vehicle; it was being used figuratively by the late 1600s.