Idiom:  have the upper hand


Idiom:  have the upper hand

  • to have an advantage, power or control over someone or a situation

Example sentences

— The spouse who earns money outside the home often has the upper hand in the marriage.

— Both teams have excellent players but our coach is better so we have the upper hand.

— Employers often have the upper hand in salary negotiations because employees usually don't have access to the exact salaries paid in the company and industry.

— Top 50 tennis players tend to have the upper hand against those ranked outside the top 100 because they can pay for trainers and coaches to travel with them on tour.

— When we got divorced, I had the upper hand because my husband was convicted of fraud during our marriage.

— Our landlord has the upper hand and refuses to repair our washing machine because he knows we don't want to move to a new place before the school year ends.

— Management will always have the upper hand unless we decide to form a union which will help us bargain together for our rights.

— I had the upper hand when I negotiated the price for a used car because the owners had no idea I spoke Spanish and I was able to understand their conversation.

— Children who come from wealthy families have the upper hand when applying to college.

— My dogs are always fighting but this one has the upper hand because he’s stronger and faster.


  • hold sway over
  • keep under thumb
  • run the show
  • play first fiddle

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