tip one's hand

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tip one's hand (third-person singular simple present tips one's hand, present participle tipping one's hand, simple past and past participle tipped one's hand)

  1. (card games) In card playing, to accidentally reveal one's cards or hand.
  2. (figurative) To inadvertently reveal any secret, particularly a secret that puts one at an advantage or disadvantage.
    • 1952 March 10, “Cause for Alarm”, in Time[1], archived from the original on 2010-11-25:
      In Montreal, a 23-year-old pyromaniac tipped his hand by rushing into the fire station a few minutes before the gong rang, shouting: "Where's the fire?"
    • 2004 March 4, Randal C. Archibold, “As Edwards's Race Ends, Talk of No. 2 Spot on Ticket”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      In a nearly 13-minute address, he did not tip his hand about what he might do next.
    • 2022 February 28, Adam Liptak, “Supreme Court Considers Limiting E.P.A.’s Ability to Address Climate Change”, in The New York Times[3], →ISSN:
      The questioning during the two-hour argument was mostly technical, and several conservative justices did not tip their hands.


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