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

  • noun A dominating position; an advantage.
  • noun The hand in which a whip is held.

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

  • noun position of advantage and control


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  • The city council's license committee exerted additional executive power. It decided whether a cabaret, card room, or pinball operator kept a license or did not. It thus held a whip hand over much of Seattle's illegal gambling, and there were several instances of it suspending the licenses of disfavored license holders, such as the suspension of the Colacurcio licenses in the late 1950s.

    Christopher T. Bayley, Seattle Justice: The Rise and Fall of the Police Payoff System in Seattle (Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2015), ch.

    January 17, 2016