ace in the hole

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Related to ace in the hole: Billy Wilder


a. A single spot or pip on a playing card, die, or domino.
b. A playing card, die, or domino having one spot or pip.
2. In racket games:
a. A serve that one's opponent fails to hit.
b. A point scored by such a serve.
3. The act of hitting a golf ball in the hole with one's first shot.
4. A military aircraft pilot who has destroyed five or more enemy aircraft.
5. An expert in a given field.
Top-notch; first-rate.
tr.v. aced, ac·ing, ac·es
1. To serve an ace against in racket games.
2. To hit an ace on (a hole) in golf.
3. Slang To get the better of (someone): a candidate who aced his opponents in the primaries.
4. Slang
a. To receive a grade of A on: She aced the exam.
b. To perform with distinction on: aced the interview.
ace in the hole/up one's sleeve
A hidden advantage or resource kept in reserve until needed.
within an ace of
On the verge of; very near to: came within an ace of losing the election.

[Middle English as, from Old French, from Latin, unit.]


A trademark for an elastic bandage.

ace in the hole

A secret advantage, or some kind of resource kept until needed. It refers to a high-value card in stud poker which is kept face down while bets are made.
References in periodicals archive ?
I return his VHS copy of Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole (a.
The unrelenting ruthlessness of Douglas's character in Ace in the Hole obviously inspired that of Chester Kent in The Saddest Music in the World.
The Philadelphia trial of an alleged Mafia boss shows that when it comes to threats to privacy, the government will always have an ace in the hole.