What does one-upmanship mean?

Definitions for one-upmanship

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word one-upmanship.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. one-upmanship(noun)

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


  1. one-upmanship(n.)

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


  1. one-upmanship(Noun)

    The art or practice of successively outdoing a competitor.

  2. one-upmanship(Noun)

    A succession of instances of outdoing a competitor.


  1. One-upmanship

    One-upmanship is the art or practice of successively outdoing a competitor. Exactly when the term originated is unknown; several examples are known from the early 1900s. It was used in the title of a book by Stephen Potter, published in 1952 as a follow-up to The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship, which also contained the term, and Lifemanship titles in his series of tongue-in-cheek self-help books, and film and television derivatives, that teach various ploys to achieve this. This satire of self-help style guides manipulates traditional stuffy British conventions for the gamester, all life being a game, who understands that if you're not one-up, you're one-down. Potter's unprincipled principles apply to almost any possession, experience or situation, deriving maximum undeserved rewards and discomforting the opposition. The 1960 film School for Scoundrels and the 2006 film School For Scoundrels were satiric portrayals of how to use Potter's ideas. In that context, the term refers to a satiric course in the gambits required for the systematic and conscious practice of "creative intimidation", making one's associates feel inferior and thereby gaining the status of being "one-up" on them. Viewed seriously, it is a phenomenon of group dynamics that can have significant effects in the management field: for instance, manifesting in office politics. The term has been extended to a generic, often punning extension, upmanship, used for any assertion of superiority: for instance, Photon upmanship, Native Upmanship, and so on.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of one-upmanship in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of one-upmanship in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Hillary Clinton:

    I'm just speaking out against bigotry and bullying wherever I hear it. And I hear a lot of it from the Republican candidates. They seem to have forgotten completely about issues and they're now running their campaigns based on insults, it's turned into a kind of one-upmanship on insulting and I don't think that's appropriate in a presidential campaign, and I'm going to speak up on it.

Images & Illustrations of one-upmanship

  1. one-upmanship

Translations for one-upmanship

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"one-upmanship." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 22 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/one-upmanship>.

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