Main definitions of card in US English:

: card1card2

card1

noun

  • 1A piece of thick, stiff paper or thin pasteboard, in particular one used for writing or printing on.

    ‘some notes jotted down on a card’
    • ‘The first thing to buy is a large sheet of white thick paper or thin card, which you gently bend into a right angled curve.’
    • ‘For these sort of people, writing down their PINs on small pieces of paper or card appears to be the best solution.’
    • ‘Finally I snag one and I'm given a card with some writing and told to stand and wait for the unit at the register.’
    • ‘Sometimes, you can press the pile down with a paint guard or a piece of stiff card, but if it seems likely to spring back and stick to the wet gloss, that is not a good look.’
    • ‘Every club has its own set of die-hards, always in club shirts, who gather behind one goal with the flags, flares, cards and toilet paper to cheer on their team.’
    • ‘The piece included a reply card, which generated one of the largest constituent responses of his political career in Missouri.’
    • ‘Thin pieces of card were inserted under its feet to ensure that it stood perfectly level.’
    • ‘A pack of 10 cards are available from any parent or the teachers.’
    • ‘File cards and rhyming games develop reading skills, and plasticine is recommended for the study of shapes and colors.’
    • ‘The idea is for children to write times tables, maths problems or any words they get confused with or struggle to spell, on individual paper cards.’
    • ‘Later in the evening as we walked into the main room and sat down, a paper card fell onto a candle and caught fire whilst everyone was pre-occupied with the raffle.’
    • ‘Print your name - cut out letters from a piece of thick card.’
    • ‘The whole thing just collapsed like a pack of cards and they had to put music on while TV screens across the country went blank.’
    • ‘You won't get a good idea of the right fragrance unless you put each one on different cards or pieces of paper.’
    • ‘The Sun's image can then be seen on small piece of stiff card covered with some white paper.’
    • ‘As I set up the board and various cards and pieces about the table, I start to explain the rules.’
    • ‘Count to 20 and then remove the pieces of card or paper.’
    • ‘Mike lifts up a square card made of thick, cream-colored paper.’
    • ‘I am seriously considering printing up some little cards to hand out before the start of those conversations with complete strangers you end up getting sucked into while out and about with a newborn.’
    • ‘As for the prickly pear entrada that so enticed me on the menu card, it did pack quite a punch.’
    cardboard, pasteboard, board, stiff paper
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A piece of thick paper printed with a picture and used to send a message or greeting.
      ‘a birthday card’
      • ‘He never said goodbye to me, he's never even sent me a birthday card or a Christmas present or even tried to call me!’
      • ‘No wrapping paper, no cards and no thought of how I'm going to get the presents to their rightful recipients, mind you.’
      • ‘Following hot on the heels of the tree and mistletoe, holly is an essential element of Christmas imagery, turning up on cards, wrapping paper and on top of the Christmas pud.’
      • ‘His friends and acquaintances sent him lots of cards and birthday wishes and all hope he will enjoy many more years.’
      • ‘When finally printed, cards are sent to American Greetings' distribution centers in Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.’
      • ‘She also wished to pay tribute to all those who sent flowers, gifts, cards and goodwill messages.’
      • ‘She thanked people for the cards and messages sent to her mum following the robbery.’
      • ‘But then I forked out another $12 on the card and wrapping paper.’
      • ‘Our Christmas Cards depicting five local scenes are now on sale in the local shops costing £3 per pack of 10 cards.’
      • ‘The tangible proof of that was seen in the hundreds of cards, greetings and messages of hope he received during his brief illness.’
      • ‘We also made sure we know her birthday so we can send her a birthday card and some flowers.’
      • ‘Or do I say nothing, and just send a card at Christmas?’
      • ‘He thanked everyone who made the day one to remember and for those who sent them cards and messages of good wishes.’
      • ‘With Christmas, New Year and Sankranti ahead, it's time to send them love, affection and warmth - all packed together in cute cards.’
      • ‘Almost no companies and few individuals send cards with any religious message.’
      • ‘Packs of 10 cards are priced at 4.99 euro and your support would be much appreciated for this very worthy appeal.’
      • ‘Can you imagine any other airline sending a birthday card to a customer?’
      • ‘Her daughter's tenth birthday had been last week and her adopted parents had sent Maura a card with a single picture inside.’
      • ‘I do have a valentine and I made him a homemade card using construction paper and sharpies and condoms.’
      • ‘Crafts will be on sale in the craft workshop including hand-woven and knitted goods and handmade cards, wrapping paper and badges.’
      greetings card, postcard, christmas card, birthday card, good luck card, get well card, sympathy card
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A small rectangular piece of thick paper with a person's name and other details printed on it for purposes of identification, for example a business card.
      • ‘Upon return of the membership card, students will be refunded $20 of the initial deposit.’
      • ‘They set up a checkpoint and forced civilians to line up to go in and out, each carrying an identification card printed in English only.’
      • ‘The card will have the name, gender, date of birth, identification type and identification number.’
      • ‘The cards, which are blue and feature a picture of Old Main in the background, replace the old white ID cards.’
      • ‘I have a piece on identity cards in Spain over at The White Rose.’
      • ‘Mrs. Sawaki looked it over and handed Sarah her ID card and another piece of paper.’
      • ‘The bailiffs will carry an identification card and their details can be checked at the council's Parking Shop.’
      • ‘Yet the UEC, as proposed by David Blunkett, is an identity card in all but name.’
      • ‘There will new membership and VIP cards so existing holders will need to reapply.’
      • ‘Then present your membership card for identification at the time of rental.’
      • ‘In addition, Cabal and each member of the family, including the nanny, had an identity card in a false name from the Republic of Uruguay.’
      • ‘The details on the card can then be cross-referenced against a national database before the holder can see a doctor or use other public services, such as schools or libraries.’
      • ‘Criminals will soon find a way of printing bogus ID cards.’
      • ‘The card will hold details of the member's club, as well as handicap and will eventually become compulsory for entry to all competitions.’
      • ‘Students with identification cards or wearing uniforms will pay $10 per day or $5 per segment.’
      • ‘There was also a call for ‘true’ family membership with joint names on the membership card.’
      • ‘Of course, we all wish to find solutions to crime, terrorism and fraud, but an identity card will achieve nothing.’
      • ‘Your members card will entitle you to a range of special discounted prices, prizes and giveaways.’
      • ‘I gave the security man my name card showing I worked for a foreign embassy here but he did not give in.’
      • ‘Claiming that he was a recent convert, he displayed a certificate of his Buddhist affiliation and his ID card with the name Jing'an printed on it.’
      identification, id, credentials, papers
      View synonyms
  • 2A small rectangular piece of plastic issued by a bank, containing personal data in a machine-readable form and used chiefly to obtain cash or credit.

    • ‘It contained cash, cards and other personal items.’
    • ‘A potter or a carpenter in the remote village may soon be able to avail of bank credit through a plastic card.’
    • ‘She was told that a plastic device was fitted to the card slot of the AIB ATM machine in Wine Street Car Park in Sligo, which copied the details from her bank card.’
    • ‘Most card issuers will charge a fee if you withdraw cash on your card whilst abroad.’
    • ‘Victims use cash machines unaware that at the same time the details on their card are being stolen.’
    • ‘The only identification found on the body was an ATM card bearing the name Willi Hochmeier.’
    • ‘However, if they do obtain a card, the credit limit will be low.’
    • ‘Make sure you know what the credit balance on your card is.’
    • ‘This would not stop me using internet banking though, as I feel I'm as much at risk using normal banking, with paper statements, cards being skimmed and so on.’
    • ‘Other areas where he was disappointed by the lack of relief included bin charge increases, rising utility and health charges and the stamp duty on credit and ATM cards.’
    • ‘If you can't control your credit card spending, cut up your card and start paying cash.’
    • ‘However, if you use your card for a cash withdrawal you will be charged interest from day one.’
    • ‘Again, the ATM spat the card and the cash out together.’
    • ‘A common practice among frequent shoppers is to split the bill between credit cards, or cards and cash, so as to disguise the gross amount from their partners.’
    • ‘Personal loans and plastic cards are another burden on our finances: this time, a hefty £161 billion.’
    • ‘Last September, following her request for a new card in her married name, Barclaycard reinstated this sum and is charging her interest on it.’
    • ‘However, changes to the banking code shared the responsibility for safeguarding both the card and cash more evenly between bank and account holder.’
    • ‘In my case, I have a card with my name on it, but my wife is the primary account holder.’
    • ‘She also refuses to use credit or ATM cards, only paying cash.’
    • ‘Cash, cards or cheques are not needed to make purchases, so there is no need to carry them in a purse or wallet.’
    credit card, debit card, cash card, swipe card
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A small rectangular piece of plastic containing machine-readable data, used for paying for a telephone call or gaining entry to a room.
      • ‘However, Bowers reminds drivers that only proximity cards programmed for gate access will function with the new equipment.’
      • ‘I have an idea for businesses that sell gift cards / certificates.’
      • ‘No one said anything as we entered the cafeteria, got our cards swiped, and got our food.’
      • ‘When clearances are received the businessperson is issued with an endorsed plastic card.’
      • ‘Others chose not to use a mobile phone and used card - based telephone systems that enabled them to control the cost and timing of their calls.’
      • ‘Even now, each telephony card is different from every other one and tends to include its own API.’
      • ‘Guess what - our metro transit card didn't let us back in!’
      • ‘To give fleet owners the comfort of fuelling even without cash, prepaid cards, Xtrapower, were available.’
      • ‘To change the channels you used the keypad on the black box, but in order to turn the television on and off you needed to enter the card in.’
      • ‘Pulling a small, plastic card out of her sweater pocket, Lily swiped it through a small slot next to the door, which flashed from red to green.’
      • ‘That might mean a card access system combined with a keypad system so that an employee would have to present a card and then enter a PIN.’
      • ‘The Chinese food delivery man quickly slid a thin plastic card into a slot in the hotel door.’
      • ‘The guide swiped her card again and they entered a room that almost looked like a reception area.’
      • ‘Never allow anyone you don't know to piggyback physical access into a room on your security ID card.’
      • ‘Most of the phones used by Khan and his mates were ‘fatherless’ - unregistered and run on pre-pay cards or stolen credit.’
      • ‘If someone with a stolen or expired card tries to enter a building, DPS officers know it immediately and respond.’
  • 3A playing card.

    ‘a deck of cards’
    • ‘The chosen dealer deals three cards to each player, starting with the person on his left.’
    • ‘In America it is known as old sledge or seven up and usually played by two players with the full pack of 52 cards, with the ace being the highest and the two the lowest.’
    • ‘He learned how to guess the quantity in his hand by their weight alone; how to memorise where in the pack certain cards were hidden and how to produce them on demand.’
    • ‘This is the same game as Three Card Brag, except that four cards are dealt to each player.’
    • ‘He often sat there with his old deck of cards playing solitaire, remembering other bars and card games.’
    • ‘He walked up to the first table and produced a pack of cards.’
    • ‘Rain breaks, stoppages or spare time invariably involved a pack of cards and a cry of: ‘Anyone for bridge?’’
    • ‘From a deck of cards, pick out the ace through six of one suit.’
    • ‘When he went looking through the offered board games he found not only a deck of cards but also a cribbage board.’
    • ‘At the start of the game there are no cards in the pile and its value is zero.’
    • ‘Games are another excellent pastime, a deck of cards or a board game might be some fun.’
    • ‘We oohed when he chose the right card from the pack.’
    • ‘We'd deal a hand each, put the rest of the deck between us, turn the top card on the deck face up, and begin.’
    • ‘It is a pre-piecepack attempt to do for board games what the standard deck of cards does for card games.’
    • ‘He mentioned that he tried to buy a deck of cards at the mall and he couldn't find anything for less than $2.’
    • ‘I had learned from many of these trips to bring homework, books, a deck of cards, to amuse myself, sometimes for three days.’
    • ‘To be totally fair, I'm going to shuffle a pack of cards.’
    • ‘To begin with, the dealer deals out four cards to each player which may be looked at.’
    • ‘A meld can be started with three or more cards and built up to a canasta by adding cards on later turns.’
    • ‘In case of each player winning the same number of pairs, all the cards in all five pairs go out of the game.’
    playing card
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1cards A game played with playing cards.
      • ‘The dining hall becomes the entertainment center, where the night owls get together to play cards and board games and to pop corn in the oversized cooker.’
      • ‘His interests included sporting events, a game of cards, and a chat with the locals in the evenings.’
      • ‘He loved his game of cards and supported card games for charitable purposes.’
      • ‘He never smoked or drank, but he loved a game of cards, and was always welcome no matter where he went.’
      • ‘We did what we do in Minnesota, which is sit around a card table and play cards and drink wine.’
      • ‘Besides soccer, many people like to play cards or a board game called bao.’
      • ‘In their spare time, the girls have played cards, games, table tennis and watched TV.’
      • ‘Lots of food, swimming and lake activities, cards and board games, generally a good time.’
      • ‘Pat also enjoyed his game of cards and always supported card games for charity.’
      • ‘Cure a bad case of cabin fever by inviting friends over for an evening of cards or old-fashioned board games.’
      • ‘Thirty-eight mostly middle-aged people are slouching around with beers and coffee, watching Italian football on a large screen or playing Neapolitan cards.’
      • ‘Later on, as the crowds of business people thin, kite flyers appear, and groups of friends come to sit and drink tea whilst enjoying a game of chess or cards.’
      • ‘All of which can start to feel a bit alienating if you're a non-player and your most sophisticated game of cards to date is Twenty-One.’
      • ‘The pair hadn't returned until well after dinner and as far as Althia knew, had ended the evening in a game of cards which Gryphon also participated in.’
      • ‘As we grew older we played cards - five hundred, patience and crib.’
      • ‘As well as an indoor swimming pool and a gym, there were also a karaoke bar, rooms for playing pool, cards, mah-jong and a reading room and library.’
      • ‘On the opposite side is a welcoming taverna with a shaded outdoor terrace, at which men sit passing time over a coffee or game of cards or backgammon.’
      • ‘There was the Bismark Skat Club to play cards, the brass band and hunt club to name just a few.’
      • ‘He is the game's most fierce competitor, but his ability to relax, have a beer and play cards when the game is over is just as important.’
      • ‘Jude tried to get ol’ Davy to stay around a while for a game of cards or a drink, but Davy refused.’
  • 4Computing

    short for expansion card
    • ‘Most computer audio cards have great sound, so what really matters are your PC's speakers.’
    • ‘But you can expect to see PCI Express add-in cards in stores later this summer and this fall.’
    • ‘It has slots for memory expansion, digital/multimedia cards and a 400 MHz processor.’
    • ‘It is possible to get this motherboard without the Wi-Fi card, but the slot is not optional.’
    • ‘Plug in your cable modem and hook up the home with PCI / PCMCIA bridges and use the PCMCIA wireless cards in all your desktop and laptop computers.’
  • 5A program of events at a racetrack.

    • ‘The remaining nine races on the card were expected to go off as scheduled.’
    • ‘Although the race, the last on the card, was a fairly ordinary event, it had great significance for Oliver, who was warmly greeted by racegoers.’
    • ‘The cancellation of Turfway's program was the sixth loss of a full card at the track in December.’
    • ‘The card was planned as a celebration of Oregon racing, with nearly $100,000 in purses up for grabs.’
    • ‘Live racing is scheduled to resume Sunday for the final card of the 2002 Delaware Park meeting, should weather permit.’
    • ‘The Meadowlands cancelled the last five races on its nine-race card due to deteriorating track conditions brought on by heavy rains.’
    • ‘The Sydney Turf Club had planned a seven-race card at Canterbury Park Racecourse with the Starlight Stakes the feature race.’
    • ‘Two races on the card are scheduled to be part of a Peruvian All-Star Competition.’
    • ‘Run over 12 furlongs it is the longest race on the card and is worth 1 million.’
    • ‘High water conditions brought on by heavy rains forced Delaware Park officials to cancel a scheduled nine-race card on Monday.’
    • ‘Finger Lakes racetrack canceled its card on Monday after three races due to wet track conditions.’
    • ‘The purse cut kicked in Thursday; the eight Thoroughbred races on the card are worth $35,220.’
    • ‘Beulah Park halted its nine-race card after the fifth race due to slippery track conditions.’
    • ‘Hastings Park Racecourse has dropped five Wednesday cards from its calendar.’
    • ‘From seven rides on the nine-race card, Walker's best performance was a minor placing in the second race.’
    • ‘Nine races were scheduled to be run on a card that was held three days after apprentice jockey Emanuel Jose Sanchez died.’
    • ‘Bag Woman won the first race on the card, a claiming event in which she carried a $13,500 tag, to sew up the record.’
    • ‘The 42-year-old Bone won half the races on an eight-race card with the help of three jockeys and two trainers.’
    • ‘Delaware Park was forced to cancel its racing card following the sixth race on Sunday after a bomb threat was called in to the Stanton, Delaware, track.’
    • ‘In the second race on the card, A.J. Melini rallied in the stretch to give Castro his first win on the nine-race card.’
    1. 5.1 A record of scores in a sporting event; a scorecard.
      • ‘Both the Hall of Fame and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues sent along Vic's player record card.’
      • ‘He called the items "score cards" with the players names preprinted on the card.’
      • ‘Late arriving players must have their name added to the score card upon arrival.’
  • 6dated, informal A person regarded as odd or amusing.

    ‘He laughed, “You're a card, you know.”’
    • ‘He's a card, you got that in common.’
    • ‘She thinks he's a card, and likes him.’
    • ‘"You're a card, Mr. Spangler," said Mr. Wilkinson.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Write (something) on a card, especially for indexing.

    • ‘There is also a ten-inch file of carded notes and interviews on the Bonneville Administration, 1944-1954.’
    • ‘As a result, I have 4 plastic shoeboxes where I keep all my carded recipes.’
    • ‘The carded information was then verified by a separate review.’
    1. 1.1informal (in golf and other sports) score (a certain number of points on a scorecard)
      ‘he carded 68 in the final round’
      • ‘Ipgc chairman Stephen Beard also put together a fine round of golf, carding a 4 under par 68.’
      • ‘Seven over after 12 holes, he birdied the 15th and parred the last three to card a six-over 76, seven off the lead.’
      • ‘For at the seventh hole he carded a seven - a score that cost him three shots and all hopes of a top 10 finish.’
      • ‘The low individual girls' score of 85 was carded by Sara Stebeleski of Lorette.’
      • ‘In the season opener two weeks ago, the team carded a 645, the best score by a Macalester golf team in at least five years.’
      • ‘Anderson, 20, carded rounds of 86 and 82 at The Belfry's famous PGA course to finish five shots clear of his nearest rival in the 29-strong field.’
      • ‘Pre-championship favourite Tiger Woods, who carded a one-under 71 on Thursday, was still to go out, along with Ernie Els who was level.’
      • ‘He carded eight birdies and an eagle in a 10-under par 61 before lightning forced the players to leave the course for the second day running.’
      • ‘On Friday he had carded a course-record, seven-under-par 64 and talked so much about it he exhausted not only his larynx but his vocabulary.’
      • ‘An even worse result was carded by Jamaluddin, who only managed to finish fifth in the men's lightweight singles sculls event, recording a time of 7: 27.80.’
      • ‘Moving to Jaguar last year, he accounted for 17 of the 18 points carded by the Big Cat.’
      • ‘Back in action after knee surgery, Van de Velde admits he is playing to save his career and he carded an encouraging third successive 69.’
      • ‘He carded a four-round total of 280, with Bob Charles - who finished two shots off the pace - having to settle this time round for the runner-up position.’
      • ‘In one eight-hole stretch, Singh carded eight threes.’
      • ‘John O'Meara carded three nines of 26 and one of 25 in a consistent outing.’
      • ‘Gary Coutts and John Bornholt carded the best scores for the visitors.’
      • ‘After a career low 63 with six birdies from his first round, the 30-year-old dropped only one shot and carded five birdies on his way to his final round 66.’
      • ‘But the eagle on 18, along with nine birdies, more than made up for the two miscues as he carded nines of 32-29.’
      • ‘Lee Westwood said that he felt like he had spent five hours in a sauna with his clothes on, but still enjoyed carding a first round 66.’
      • ‘Hanell carded a closing 71 at Santo da Serra for a four-under total of 284, claiming his first European Tour title and the winner's cheque for £67,153.’
    2. 1.2 (of the referee in soccer and some other sports) show a yellow or red card to (a player who is being cautioned or sent off)
      ‘Reid, seconds after being carded, broke down the left wing’
      ‘a Mac flanker was carded and sent to the sin bin in the first half’
      • ‘Williams went close but Wales failed to capitalise on the brief numerical superiority before Chris Horsman was also carded, this time for a punch.’
      • ‘Smith did not take it well and promptly returned the favour, carding Gazza to a volley of jeers from the capacity crowd, Hibs fans included.’
      • ‘John-Baptiste was booked for hauling down Chillingworth and Neil was carded for a very late challenge on Walker as the U's skipper skipped past him.’
      • ‘Livingston's pressure told on Motherwell, with Stephen Hammell and Jim Hamilton carded in quick succession.’
      • ‘Clearly rattled, Liverpool had three players spoken to by the referee but none carded.’
      • ‘Seconds later David Albelda gets carded for a foul on Deco.’
      • ‘He recalls a similar fate befalling Tim Flowers, who was carded for abusing a referee or assistant referee while warming the bench for Blackburn.’
      • ‘The pressure continued and Beverley were very lucky not to see a player carded for a dangerous spear tackle.’
      • ‘The Frenchman was booked for raising a fist to Keith O'Halloran, who was also carded for his initial foul.’
      • ‘The Chelsea skipper was in no doubt that his team-mate should not have been carded.’
      • ‘Bursts by Ian Davies, Matt Halifax and Ed Bennison were almost productive and a score seemed inevitable when Davies was carded for a late tackle and Crossleyans used the wind to revisit the York half.’
      • ‘The first-half descended into a scrappy affair with bookings for Cork's Alan Carey and Derry's Paddy McLaughlin for misjudged tackles while Darren Kelly was carded by referee Dick O'Hanlon for throwing the ball away after Cork were awarded a throw-in.’
      • ‘"He's a combative player who tackles a lot and works hard so it was quite an achievement to go through a season without being carded."’
      • ‘Anyway, Durand also deserved to see yellow for the Oscar-level theatrics that followed, evidence of the determination to get opponents carded that is creeping into the professional game.’
      • ‘The ref was warning them for most of the game but ended up, with English players pressurising him, carding our guys!’
  • 2North American Check the identity card of (someone), in particular as evidence of legal drinking age.

    • ‘In fact, the last time you pulled out your driver's license was to show a friend how silly you looked ‘way back then,’ or when you were carded at some hot spot.’
    • ‘Now, in middle age, when being carded is just a dim memory and I'm legal for all legal vices, I've started stashing things in my room.’
    • ‘Two years ago at an Oakland A's game, he was carded, and he still can't grow a mustache.’
    • ‘There's security people all over the place, they card you for every little thing, and nobody gets out or in!’
    • ‘But they didn't card me, so I was able to get us both Heinekens.’
    • ‘The bartender came up to me, didn't even card me, and asked what I'd like.’
    • ‘It was something the bartender or distributor wouldn't card me for.’
    • ‘I went in, and I didn't even think about the fact that they might card me or whatever.’
    • ‘Yesterday a twelve-year-old sales clerk carded me when I purchased a bottle of non-alcoholic Merlot.’
    • ‘When the final hunters are seated and carded and have their drinks, I check to see that the meat is neatly and attractively presented.’
    • ‘There's certainly no reason to card anyone for the dubious privilege of seeing it.’
    • ‘This, along with Mother Nature's gravitational pull, tends to stand me in good stead when I'm carded for ID by New York bar Nazis.’
    • ‘Half the bars in New York City don't even card you, so things like this were never a problem.’
    • ‘‘I should have carded him,’ he answered laughing as he handed over the Long Island ice tea.’
    • ‘We were carded and banded by a couple of menacing, ghetto looking bouncers.’
    • ‘Lately, theaters have been taking the ‘R’ rating far more seriously than they used to - actually carding young patrons to check if they are of age to see the movie without a guardian.’

Phrases

  • hold all the cards

    • Be in a very strong or advantageous position.

      • ‘The problem with fighting against globalisation is that the enemy holds all the cards.’
      • ‘It appears that the highways authority holds all the cards.’
      • ‘So they say they're not prepared for this case and that the prosecution holds all the cards, so their first move, their first motion today will be to ask for an adjournment.’
      • ‘On the other hand, terrorists do not hold all the cards.’
      • ‘There's a guy funding a film by a friend of mine, and he's decided that he holds all the cards, since he put up the million-and-a-half budget, so he wants to re-cut the movie.’
      • ‘But in fact, the parent with whom the child lives - and that is usually the mother - holds all the cards.’
      • ‘Things have gotten so bad, that a liar and plagiarist holds all the cards; he can keep his stature, pay, and influence, or he can get a seven figure check.’
      • ‘In the alcohol industry, the distributors hold all the cards.’
      • ‘But from a procedural point of view, the Commission holds all the cards.’
      • ‘In the meantime, the unregulated broker holds all the cards.’
      • ‘But union membership is on the decline and it appears management still holds all the cards right now.’
  • in the cards

    • informal Very possible or likely.

      ‘an overwhelming military triumph is in the cards’
      likely, possible, probable, expected, liable to happen, in the wind, in the air, in the offing, on the horizon, in view, in prospect, in store, to come
      View synonyms
  • play one's cards right

    • Make the best use of one's assets and opportunities.

      • ‘If you play your cards right, you too can join me in listening to this fine piece of electronica.’
      • ‘They played their cards right and now expect to either get the presidency or bring some Arab areas under their control.’
      • ‘That's the kind of opportunity people kill for, and if you play your cards right, we can grab it!’
      • ‘If Fox plays their cards right, they could have a cult show on the level of Seinfeld on their hands.’
      • ‘If he plays his cards right - a big if - he could peel off just enough Cuban voters to carry Florida on November 2.’
      • ‘He said it was a good job and, if I played my cards right, I'd have it for life.’
      • ‘If she plays her cards right, she could have a great future as an actress ahead of her.’
      • ‘At one stage we could boast about being able to use three different currencies, and if you played your cards right, you could use it to your advantage.’
      • ‘If he plays his cards right, he could upset all predictions.’
      • ‘Here's my latest example of how peer-to-peer file sharing could really help music companies if they played their cards right, which they almost never do.’
  • put (or lay) one's cards on the table

    • Be completely open and honest in declaring one's resources, intentions, or attitude.

      • ‘It is not an issue for me because I have always put my cards on the table and said we should not kill for sport.’
      • ‘I'm putting my cards on the table because it's important we have a vote of confidence.’
      • ‘Texting forces you to put your cards on the table - but then teenagers do, don't they?’
      • ‘And to your question about how much should we put our cards on the table and be honest about our biases, I think that's a good thing to do.’
      • ‘You have to lay your cards on the table, be honest about what your priorities are in life and where your weaknesses lie.’
      • ‘Settle the score, put the cards on the table, lay down the law.’
      • ‘Look, I'd much rather put my cards on the table and let people know where I stand in a clear editorial, than insidiously imply it in what's supposed to be a straight news story.’
      • ‘I'm going to put my cards on the table - I'm a teetotaller.’
      • ‘The newspapers are full of opinion columns in which people put their cards on the table and urge their readers to vote one way or another, so I thought I'd join them.’
      • ‘‘We have put our cards on the table from the start,’ he said.’
  • play the — card

    • Exploit the specified issue or idea mentioned, especially for political advantage.

      ‘he resisted the temptation to play the race card’
      ‘playing the gender card is beneath you’
      ‘I knew that I was in trouble when my boss played the experience card’
      • ‘He'll probably play the human-rights card, but he should be careful.’
      • ‘He angrily denied that he was playing the race card.’
      • ‘These groups play the race card under the guise of concerns about immigration.’
      • ‘It is not yet time to play the sanctions card.’
      • ‘‘They need to play the psyops card to combat the obvious military superiority that we've demonstrated to date,’ said a retired US army major who specialised in psychological operations.’
      • ‘When she tried to play the victim card the response across America was ‘Oh, come on.’’
      • ‘Many politicians have played the religious-national identity card to gain popular support.’
      • ‘In the local debate that's ensued, Henraux plays the jobs card, threatening to lay off 20 workers if it can't level the mountaintop.’
      • ‘In the face of growing concern about sluggish job growth and outsourcing to Asia, tech executives have settled on a far more potent strategy: They're playing the jobs card.’
      • ‘And this is why those who have most benefited from playing the human rights card are those who already are assertive, intelligent, articulate and organised.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in sense 3 of the noun): from Old French carte, from Latin carta, charta, from Greek khartēs ‘papyrus leaf’.

Pronunciation

card

/kärd//kɑrd/

Main definitions of card in US English:

: card1card2

card2

verb

[with object]
  • Comb and clean (raw wool, hemp fibers, or similar material) with a sharp-toothed instrument in order to disentangle the fibers before spinning.

    • ‘She was wearing a sweater she'd been forced to knit from the wool they'd carded from the flocks.’
    • ‘One may light with a wick made from it after it has been carded.’
    • ‘The best plan is undoubtedly to dye the fibre after it has been carded.’
    • ‘Moreover, he noted that working in ghettos where underventilated, crowded conditions prevailed was a special risk factor in workers repairing old mattresses and/or carding used wool.’
    • ‘A buff is made from a non-woven fabric where the fibers are first carded and formed into a fairly thick fleece.’
    • ‘Spinning wheels lined the walls and at the central tables others sorted, hackled and carded the wool.’
    • ‘It was then carded and arranged neatly in bundles, which the thatcher took with him onto the roof.’
    • ‘Skirt the fleece, scour the wool, wash the wool, card it, thread the spool, spin it to thread, slide it off the bobbin, roll it into balls of yarn.’

noun

  • A toothed implement or machine used to comb and clean raw fibers before spinning.

    • ‘Begin by placing a small piece of wool on the left card that should be lying on your lap.’
    • ‘Distribute the wool evenly across the entire card until the teeth are barely showing through.’
    • ‘When carding the teased wool, a card is held in each hand.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French carde, from Provençal carda, from cardar ‘tease, comb’, based on Latin carere ‘to card’.

Pronunciation

card

/kärd//kɑrd/