trump

To trump is to outrank or defeat someone or something, often in a highly public way. Safety might trump appearance when you're buying a car, or your desires may trump your brother's when it comes to making weekend plans.

In the card game bridge, the trump card is the most powerful card in a particular round and defeats all the others — sort of like when your needs or wishes trump someone else's. Originally trump implied a deceptive form of victory involving cheating, but that sense has been largely lost, though it's still around in the term trumped up, meaning something that's been falsely made up. A politician may face trumped up charges that could ruin his career.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: trump

1
vn
get the better of
a playing card in the suit that has been declared trumps
2
nv
a brass musical instrument with a brilliant tone; has a narrow tube and a flared bell and is played by means of valves
proclaim or announce with or as if with a fanfare
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: trump
1

v get the better of

Synonyms:
best, outdo, outflank, scoop
Types:
outmaneuver, outmanoeuvre, outsmart
defeat by more skillful maneuvering
outgeneral
surpass in generalship
Type of:
beat, beat out, crush, shell, trounce, vanquish
come out better in a competition, race, or conflict

v play a trump

Synonyms:
ruff
Types:
overtrump
play a trump higher than (one previously played) to the trick
crossruff
trump alternately in two hands
Type of:
go, move
have a turn; make one's move in a game

n a playing card in the suit that has been declared trumps

“the ace of trumps is a sure winner”
Synonyms:
trump card
Type of:
playing card
one of a pack of cards that are used to play card games

n (card games) the suit that has been declared to rank above all other suits for the duration of the hand

“clubs were declared trumps
“a trump can take a trick even when a card of a different suit is led”
Type of:
suit
playing card in any of four sets of 13 cards in a pack; each set has its own symbol and color
2

n a brass musical instrument with a brilliant tone; has a narrow tube and a flared bell and is played by means of valves

Synonyms:
cornet, horn, trumpet
Types:
serpent
an obsolete bass cornet; resembles a snake
Type of:
brass, brass instrument
a wind instrument that consists of a brass tube (usually of variable length) that is blown by means of a cup-shaped or funnel-shaped mouthpiece

v proclaim or announce with or as if with a fanfare

Synonyms:
trump out
Type of:
announce, denote
make known; make an announcement

v produce a sound as if from a trumpet

Type of:
go, sound
make a certain noise or sound
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