from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The art of outdoing or showing up a rival or competitor, as in exploits, privileges, or honors.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The attitude or practice of trying to keep one step ahead of a friend or competitor; vigorous competitiveness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun idiomatic The art or practice of successively outdoing a competitor.
  • noun idiomatic A succession of instances of outdoing a competitor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the practice of keeping one jump ahead of a friend or competitor


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

one-up +‎ -manship


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  • Title of 1952 book by Stephen Potter (1900-1969)

    July 24, 2008

  • I wrote an essay in college about one-upmanship. One of my favorite examples of it is if someone cuts you off in traffic and bothers to look for your reaction, give them a polite wave, or a thumbs up and a cheery smile. You're up!

    July 24, 2008