To have the cards in one's own hands
Card Card (k[aum]rd), n. [F. carte, fr. L. charta paper, Gr. ? a leaf of paper. Cf. {Chart}.] 1. A piece of pasteboard, or thick paper, blank or prepared for various uses; as, a playing card; a visiting card; a card of invitation; pl. a game played with cards. [1913 Webster]

Our first cards were to Carabas House. --Thackeray. [1913 Webster]

2. A published note, containing a brief statement, explanation, request, expression of thanks, or the like; as, to put a card in the newspapers. Also, a printed programme, and (fig.), an attraction or inducement; as, this will be a good card for the last day of the fair. [1913 Webster]

3. A paper on which the points of the compass are marked; the dial or face of the mariner's compass. [1913 Webster]

All the quartere that they know I' the shipman's card. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. (Weaving) A perforated pasteboard or sheet-metal plate for warp threads, making part of the Jacquard apparatus of a loom. See {Jacquard}. [1913 Webster]

5. An indicator card. See under {Indicator}. [1913 Webster]

{Business card}, a card on which is printed an advertisement or business address.

{Card basket} (a) A basket to hold visiting cards left by callers. (b) A basket made of cardboard.

{Card catalogue}. See {Catalogue}.

{Card rack}, a rack or frame for holding and displaying business or visiting card.

{Card table}, a table for use inplaying cards, esp. one having a leaf which folds over.

{On the cards}, likely to happen; foretold and expected but not yet brought to pass; -- a phrase of fortune tellers that has come into common use; also, according to the programme.

{Playing card}, cards used in playing games; specifically, the cards cards used playing which and other games of chance, and having each pack divided onto four kinds or suits called hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades. The full or whist pack contains fifty-two cards.

{To have the cards in one's own hands}, to have the winning cards; to have the means of success in an undertaking.

{To play one's cards well}, to make no errors; to act shrewdly.

{To play snow one's cards}, to expose one's plants to rivals or foes.

{To speak by the card}, to speak from information and definitely, not by guess as in telling a ship's bearing by the compass card.

{Visiting card}, a small card bearing the name, and sometimes the address, of the person presenting it. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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