Main definitions of trump in US English:

: trump1trump2

trump1

noun

  • 1(in bridge, whist, and similar card games) a playing card of the suit chosen to rank above the others, which can win a trick where a card of a different suit has been led.

    • ‘The winner of the first trick must lead a trump to the second trick if he holds one.’
    • ‘The suit of the card led by the pitcher to the first trick becomes trumps for that deal.’
    • ‘The player to the left of the dealer has the choice of playing with the given trump or passing.’
    • ‘In this case it is illegal for any player to a play a trump on the first trick.’
    • ‘If no one plays a trump, then the highest ranking card to the suit led wins the book.’
    • ‘If a trump is led, the other players may play any cards, and if several trumps are played to a trick the last one wins.’
    1. 1.1trumps The suit having the rank above the others in a particular hand.
      ‘the ace of trumps’
      • ‘After the deal the First player (sitting to the left of the dealer) declares how many of the six possible tricks he undertakes to win, and also chooses the trump suit or declares that the game will be played without trumps.’
      • ‘After the cut, the bottom card of the pack is shown to everyone and its suit is trumps.’
      • ‘In scenario 3, if a person with 5 trumps has the Ace of trump, she starts.’
      • ‘There are five honours, viz: - Ace, King, Queen, Knave and Ten, if trumps are declared.’
      • ‘Your opponent has only one card left and you know it is the ace of trumps.’
    2. 1.2 (in a tarot pack) any of a special suit of 22 cards depicting symbolic and typical figures and scenes.
      • ‘If using tarot cards, the trump suits of both decks are removed except for a single copy of The Fool.’
      • ‘Enchanters epitomize the tarot trump of ‘the fool’ relying on luck and intuition to guide their way.’
      • ‘In the greater arcana of the tarot, Mercury is always associated with the first trump, the Magus or Juggler - names which sum up the extremes of the planet, sage and trickster.’
      • ‘The modern tarot pack comes from an Italian tarrochi deck with 22 trumps.’
      • ‘The Fool can be looked at as either the first of the tarot trumps… or the last.’
    3. 1.3 A valuable resource that may be used, especially as a surprise, in order to gain an advantage.
      ‘in this month General Haig decided to play his trump card: the tank’
      • ‘Triumphantly, Vince plays his trump card: he has captured Jon's admission on tape.’
      • ‘The right to a free press is a political trump card and held by individuals against governments.’
      • ‘The trump card that the elites have played over and over is white nationalism.’
      • ‘Which brings us to his third trump card: his incredible facility with words.’
      • ‘Their trump card is a close link with the government which can give them quick and exclusive access to official news and information.’
      • ‘He left the field with a knee problem and should he be sidelined for the finals, the Roos will be without a real trump card.’
      • ‘But it's not really sinking in - they had to play their trump card last week to stay in people's minds.’
      • ‘Of course, if the music isn't right then nothing else matters, and here is where The Conquerors play their trump card.’
      • ‘The trump card is nostalgia, but is that enough to carry a film?’
      • ‘His voice, as doleful as his bloodhound eyes, is his trump card.’
      • ‘However, the Beagle 2 team still has a trump card to play, Mars Express.’
      • ‘Those favouring an armistice hoped that a negative reply from Roosevelt would deprive their opponents of a valuable trump card.’
      • ‘This was his trump card, and he wanted to make sure it got played, even if the commission was too docile to press for it.’
      • ‘My trump card is salmon fillets poached in the dishwasher and topped with a brightly flavored cilantro sauce.’
      • ‘They are all nodding away there, but the trump card is coming up.’
      • ‘That goal was the difference between the sides at the break but then Ballina played their trump card.’
      • ‘We will crush them with not just brute force, but we have a trump card.’
      • ‘Party strategists are well aware his stewardship of the economy is their trump card.’
      • ‘The actor who went through a tough period earlier is now considered as the trump card for success in the industry.’
      • ‘That was until Lancashire used their trump card - their spinners.’
    4. 1.4dated, informal A helpful or admirable person.
      • ‘"He's a trump," said Dick, enthusiastically.’
      • ‘"He's a trump!" said Clifford, "and if he swears the world is as good and pure as his own heart, I'll swear he's right."’
      • ‘"By Jove, he's a trump!" said the Inspector.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1(in bridge, whist, and similar card games) play a trump on (a card of another suit), having no cards of the suit led.

    • ‘The fourth to play after a non-trump card has been trumped by his partner, when unable to either follow suit or overtrump, must undertrump even if his partner holds the trick.’
    • ‘For the sake of clarity, it is worth pointing out that where a lead of a plain suit has been trumped by the second player to a trick and the third to play also has no cards in the suit led, then the third player must still overtrump if possible.’
    • ‘Players must follow suit, except that a non-trump lead may be trumped even if you have a card of the suit led.’
    • ‘If a plain suit lead has been trumped, it is illegal to undertrump unless by doing so one creates a K-Q or K-Q-J combination in the trick.’
    • ‘You will eventually learn to keep track of which suits each player is trumping, what cards are still out against you, and how many more counters you need to pull to make your bid.’
    1. 1.1 Beat (someone or something) by saying or doing something better.
      ‘taste trumps most if not all other factors when consumers choose food products’
      • ‘The intent behind the words trumps the facts they signify.’
      • ‘From the Greeks, we learned that determination easily trumps the banter of cynics.’
      • ‘The law is a guide, but we need to have enough common sense, as Americans, to know when to trump legal arguments when there are obviously stronger moral and/or utilitarian arguments around.’
      • ‘However limited, this success clearly trumps the failures of the more command-oriented policies.’
      • ‘But I believe that in such trying times as these precision of meaning trumps political correctness or delicacy of phrasing.’
      • ‘It's a sad, sad thing, but often mindless trash trumps artistic merit.’
      • ‘You would, to be sure, be implicitly admitting that social factors can easily trump intrinsic differences, except that you'd be thinking that these factors work in women's favor.’
      • ‘If their appearance trumps their stranger status, it is not because it signifies freedom, but because it signals that they belong to a recognizable counterculture.’
      • ‘But the need for fresh cannon fodder apparently trumps common sense.’
      • ‘The Southern judiciary countered the argument of natural law by evoking the argument that, within a democracy, positive law trumped natural law.’
      • ‘Either way, the film's beauty usually trumps the poetic readings.’
      • ‘Convenience is one issue, as is ‘safety,’ one of those emotionally charged words that trumps any rational argument.’
      • ‘Yet he has proven that his conservative side trumps any alleged libertarian leanings, even when the topic is completely unrelated to the war on terrorism.’
      • ‘I know that in many circles the security of the nation state trumps the rights of individuals, but what if YOU were one of those individuals mistakenly slain by those sworn to protect?’
      • ‘The result is a product which he claims trumps the competition in terms of taste and quality.’
      • ‘For ordinary sensible people, genuineness trumps a slick tongue every time.’
      • ‘And as the original bike path fight demonstrates, his passion about the importance of lifestyle trumps his faith in more traditional arrangements.’
      • ‘I truly do believe that modernism trumps the traditional patriarchy because it is far more conducive to human happiness.’
      • ‘A favourable ruling could find that the free exercise clause of the First Amendment trumps any state's law that discriminates against non-public schools.’
      • ‘The trope of triumphing lovers is so powerful it trumps politics, bulldozing past the inconvenient facts of the law with the sheer force of its familiar imagery and narrative drive.’
      outshine, outclass, upstage, put in the shade, eclipse, surpass, outdo, outperform
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • trump something up

    • Invent a false accusation or excuse.

      ‘they've trumped up charges against her’
      • ‘A boy of 11 has been suspended from school for making a lewd gesture at a teacher, and she thinks the whole affair has been trumped up by kids who don't like him.’
      • ‘Supporters said the charges against the activists were trumped up.’
      • ‘He is serving a 15-year jail term for corruption and sodomy, charges he claims were trumped up to end his political career.’
      • ‘But there was nothing Robby could do to help in his own defense, since the charges were trumped up and the only witnesses had been blackmailed to lie.’
      • ‘A White House spokesman denied the nomination was lost and said the accusations had been trumped up by opponents of the president.’
      • ‘He was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in jail over corruption and sodomy charges that he claims were trumped up.’
      • ‘I think the whole lot of charges have been trumped up.’
      • ‘I think it was trumped up, but I can't tell you who forged it.’
      • ‘Their families had always insisted that the charges were trumped up.’
      • ‘He has claimed the charges were trumped up to prevent him from challenging the former Prime Minister.’
      • ‘The charges were trumped up, the evidence flimsy.’
      • ‘He has denied all charges, which he claims were trumped up to end his political career.’
      • ‘He had maintained that the charges were trumped up by the man and his cronies to prevent him from challenging the prime minister's rule.’
      • ‘But last night his wife said through friends that the charge had been trumped up by the interim regime.’
      • ‘I do not say he is innocent of the charges brought against him, nor do I say those charges have been trumped up: I say that the crimes of which he has been found guilty do not amount to a hill of beans.’
      invent, make up, fabricate, concoct, contrive, manufacture, devise, hatch
      View synonyms

Origin

Early 16th century: alteration of triumph, once used in card games in the same sense.

Pronunciation

trump

/trəmp//trəmp/

Main definitions of trump in US English:

: trump1trump2

trump2

noun

archaic
  • A trumpet or a trumpet blast.

    • ‘The visual aspect also played its part at the start of the Third Reflection, when the three horns, representing the final trump, came in from the back and took their seats in the orchestra!’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French trompe, of Germanic origin; probably imitative.

Pronunciation

trump

/trəmp//trəmp/