Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

Idioms beginning with U

up the ante

up the ante

Meaning

  • increase the demands or risks to obtain better results
  • increase the stakes or price of something
  • increase the cost or considerations required to reach a result
  • set a higher standard or goal

Example Sentences

  1. The government has upped the ante by refusing to negotiate with the ultras until a ceasefire has been agreed.
  2. In order to up the ante on their quest to free the place of crime, the government introduced some new measures that would serve as a deterrent to criminals.
  3. The protesting workers upped the ante by refusing to work until their demands were met by the management.
  4. Realizing that his skills were much in demand, he upped the ante and asked for double the pay along with various other benefits.
  5. The team was determined to win the competition and upped the ante by hiring a number of professional support staff.
  6. The company raised wages and hired more skilled workers in order to up the ante and grab more market share.
  7. By providing reliable services for reasonable prices, they have upped the ante in the industry which others would find hard to follow.

Origin
The phrase originated in betting games like poker. The ante is the amount the player commit to before the game begins. When a player increases the amount, it is termed as upping the ante. The cost, risk, reward all go up as a result of upping the ante.

up in the air

up in the air

Meaning

  • unresolved, undecided
  • undecided about something
  • uncertain or unresolved, often because other matters have to be decided first
  • not yet settled or finalized
  • unsure, full of doubt
  • not yet decided

Example Sentences

  1. The future of the project is up in the air as the management has failed to finalize the budget.
  2. The decision to implement the system is still up in the air as the management is debating over its pros and cons.
  3. The proposal to build a flyover on the busy road is up in the air as the various bodies are fighting over their responsibilities.
  4. Our vacation plans are still up in the air as we keep differing over our choice of locations.
  5. I am not sure what the plans are. Everything was up in the air when I last spoke to him about it.
  6. Nothing is finalized about our moving to a new city. things are sort of up in the air right now.
  7. Julie said she did not know what she would do once she finished her schooling. Everything was up in the air for now.

Origin
This phrase refers to unsettled particles or matter as something that is floating in the air. “In the air” has been used with a similar meaning since the mid 1700s, and this exact phrase has been in use since the first half of 1900s.

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