to up the ante

Idiom Definition 1

Idiom Definition - up the ante

"to up the ante"

to purposefully increase the amount of risk involved in an activity


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Definition 2

Idiom Definition - up the ante

"to up the ante"

to increase the quality or amount of something


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - up the ante

Two business partners are talking ...

Partner 1:  Look, we've got a fantastic product. I think we should double our production order. We can get a better price and make even more profit.

Partner 2:  That's taking a huge risk.  What if demand is lower that we think?

Partner 1:  If we don't up the ante, we won't have the opportunity to make even more money.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - up the ante

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  Are you going to buy that new cell phone you've been talking about?

Friend 2:  It sure it tempting. The manufacturer has really upped the ante.

Friend 1:  How?

Friend 2:  They have doubled the memory capacity, increased the screen resolution and are giving a two hundred dollar air-time credit.

to up the ante - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   521   click for frequency by country

to up the ante - Gerund Form:

Upping the ante can bring great rewards or ruin.

to up the ante - Examples:

1)  Obviously you want to be who you are, but up the ante a bit and show the best, most energetic version of yourself.

2)  Catholic leaders upped the ante Monday, threatening to challenge the Obama administration over a provision of the new health ...

3)  On November 4th, the U.S. upped the ante and dropped two BLU-82 sub-atomic bombs equivalent to a tactical nuclear weapon on Taliban positions.

4)  Then, as the campaign got going, he upped the ante as it were and called for the elimination of funding to the Endowment in an ...

5)  Then the thief upped the ante by putting the drugs "where only a woman can".

6)  On the contrary: the government is upping the ante. This new round of cuts to environmental spending occurs at the same time ...

7)  Daymond countered with $150K for 25%. Wow -- a bidding war and upping the ante. We don't see this very often.

8)  I've probably gone through three or four acoustic guitars, each time upping the ante in terms of cost and quality. 

9)  ... but their opponent not only failed to retreat -- he gambled everything, upping the ante even more, and won. 

10)  This gives Israeli "decision-makers" a direct interest in upping the ante and making verbal threats.

11)  Pretty standard fare to be honest. But writer McElroy ups the ante and goes in a different direction.

12)  This lawsuit clearly 'ups the ante'. I wonder whether the copyright owners think they will receive a more sympathetic

13)  Both of these betray a bitterness and twistedness that ups the ante from satire, parody and sarcasm to something more sinister.

14)  ... courage for Andy to hire me and I admire his guts because it ups the ante for him.

15)  And as far as the police are concerned it only ups the ante and forces criminals into tooling up to match or outdo them.

16)  But the popularity of the iPhone has upped the ante, selling so well here that environmentalists worry a tidal wave of used and discarded ...

17)  Once I started running a consistent three miler, I decided to up the ante and set a new goal. Run the 5k in under 30 minutes.

18)  For Thanksgiving, we try to up the ante and serve food and wine that has been produced within a 50 mile radius.

19)  Then his wife makes him continually up the ante: her new hut must become a castle; then she wants to be king ...

20)  It sure looks like Black Ops II is going to up the ante by including multiple female characters, giving them faces and names, and having them ...