Definition of an ace up one's sleeve in English:

an ace up one's sleeve

(North American an ace in the hole)

phrase

  • A plan or piece of information kept secret until it becomes necessary to use it.

    ‘the prime minister has several other aces up his sleeve’
    • ‘Maintaining that will be a potential ace up our sleeve.’
    • ‘The Foreign Secretary had an ace up his sleeve as he faced the Commons' Foreign Affairs select committee.’
    • ‘The wife has an ace up her sleeve and the loyal house servant gets her revenge.’
    • ‘Of course Sky have an ace up their sleeve, and that's its ownership of the programme listings associated with the various channels it carries on its satellite service.’
    • ‘If you decide to go against the rules - and that's what they're there for - you have to have an ace up your sleeve.’
    • ‘There's always something there, another ace up his sleeve, because the company abounds in talent and ideas like no other.’
    • ‘He was working on something to get her out of this, perhaps even now he had an ace up his sleeve.’
    • ‘However the marketers might have an ace up their sleeve.’
    • ‘Also tomorrow, we have another ace up our sleeve.’
    • ‘I keep wondering what the ace up their sleeve is.’
    • ‘He may be the one holding the weapon, but she held the ace up her sleeve.’
    • ‘Not yet, I still have an ace up my sleeve and I assure you it's a killer.’
    • ‘‘Even if I lose, which I will not,’ she said, ‘I have an ace up my sleeve.’’
    • ‘No sane person wants to get into a ‘knife fight,’ but it's comforting to have an ace up your sleeve if trouble finds you.’
    • ‘It was the ace up his sleeve, the thing that would get him out of anything he got himself into.’
    • ‘The knight gave a slow grin that immediately told Jade that he had an ace up his sleeve.’
    • ‘And considering that this is not the kind of break that most newcomers manage to get, she does seem to have an ace up her sleeve.’
    • ‘That would have been enough for most athletes, but the hungry Hungarian had another ace up her sleeve.’
    • ‘That's why you may need an ace up your sleeve for these lavish projects: the European-style kitchen system.’
    • ‘This idea he'd been pushing around for some time now was very, very appealing; he'd held it in reserve, the final ace up his sleeve, just in case he might need it.’