(get/have) one up on


1. take or hold an advantage over someone/something






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get/have one up on someone

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If you ‘get one up’ on someone it means to gain something over someone else, usually verbally in an argument or debate. When you ‘get one up’ on someone else you put yourself in a position of superiority by making the other person look bad. This is an expression you can hear used in both social and professional contexts.

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. Sophie is a much better public speaker than I am, so she had one up on me in that sense, but my speech was a lot more heartfelt. 
  2. I grew up in a very competitive household, so getting one up on one of my brothers, especially in a sporting competition, was always very satisfying.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. I believe that I have one up on my competition for the vacant managerial position due to my many years of experience.
  2. Jack is not a team player. He is always trying to get one up on his colleagues and usually goes about doing so in an underhanded way.

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