Definition of play one's ace in US English:

play one's ace


  • Use one's best resource.

    ‘deciding to play her ace, Emily showed the letter to Vic’
    • ‘But just when it could all fall over at the last hurdle, he plays his ace.’
    • ‘Quinlan recalls playing his ace card: ‘I told Dr Guevara, ‘Anybody whose maternal grandparents were Lynches either speaks Gaelic or English.’
    • ‘And when men have triumphed in their arguments with women, the women play their ace: they say, as Molly Bloom did, ‘Yes.’’
    • ‘With a good sense of dramatic timing, Rømer played his ace in the next paragraph, where he illustrated the effect of the proposed retardation of light.’
    • ‘When I played my ace - enlisting his family to twist his arm - he only grew more obstinate.’
    • ‘However, I just play my ace at night and she gives in.’