Ace-in-the-hole definition

(slang) Any advantage held in reserve until needed.
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(stud poker) An ace dealt and kept face down until the deal is over.
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(idiomatic, US, informal) A hidden or secret strength, or unrevealed advantage.

Our ace in the hole left our opponents stupefied; it isn't every day that an NBA star plays street basketball.

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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
ace-in-the-hole
Plural:
aces-in-the-hole

Origin of ace-in-the-hole

  • From stud poker in which there is one unknown card called the "hole card;" referring to the optimum "hole card" being an ace.

    From Wiktionary