[wuhn-uhp-muh n-ship]
  1. the art or practice of achieving, demonstrating, or assuming superiority in one's rivalry with a friend or opponent by obtaining privilege, status, status symbols, etc.: the one-upmanship of getting into the president's car pool.
Also one-ups·man·ship [wuhn-uhps-muh n-ship] /ˈwʌnˈʌps mənˌʃɪp/.

Origin of one-upmanship

First recorded in 1950–55; one up + -manship
Also called upmanship, upsmanship.


[uhp-muh n-ship]
Also ups·man·ship [uhps-muh n-ship] /ˈʌps mənˌʃɪp/.

Origin of upmanship

First recorded in 1960–65; shortening of one-upmanship Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for upsmanship


  1. informal the art or practice of achieving or maintaining an advantage over others, often by slightly unscrupulous means
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