one up

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Alternative forms[edit]


one up (third-person singular simple present one ups, present participle one upping, simple past and past participle one upped)

  1. (idiomatic) To outdo, to do something slightly better than a competitor's prior effort.
    Every year the neighbors try to one-up each other with their holiday lights.
    • "Time flies when you're having fun!" said one of the skiers in our party. "Yeah, but time's more fun when you're flying," Jay one-upped.



one up (plural one ups)

  1. (especially in phrases like get one up on someone) An advantage over someone.
    WePay wants to get one-up in the mobile payments race with its new iOS app for small businesses.
  2. (video games) An additional life or object that gives the player an extra chance to play.
    If you hit that block, you can get a one up.

Usage notes[edit]

In the video games context, almost always written 1UP.


See also[edit]