But he was secretly resolved if Ace drew a bad one, to exercise his parental authority.
While Ed dealt with that one, the Harn played its ace in the hole.
There was that affair of Lucy West, he had to bring that to light, and old Darcy was within an ace of disinheriting me.
And behold, fortune produces you a lemon black as the ace of spades.
Hollister had showing a deuce of hearts, a trey of clubs, an ace of spades, and a four of hearts.
Enough—I took out a five-dollar gold-piece, and placed it upon the ace.
The aronauts, totally unprepared for such an attack, had been blown to atoms just when within an ace of success.
She had been within an ace of letting him see the cruel ingratitude that was in her heart!
But he was at a disadvantage as his machine carried double, while the red plane had only one man in it, an ace beyond a doubt.
I have here, you will observe, two jacks and an ace—the noble ace of spades.
ace c.1300, from O.Fr. as "one at dice," from L. as (gen. assis) "a unit," from the name of a small Roman coin, perhaps originally Etruscan and related to Gk. eis "one." It meant the side of the die with only one mark before it meant the playing card. Since this was the lowest roll at dice, ace was used metaphorically in M.E. for "bad luck;" but as the ace is often the highest playing card, the extended senses based on "excellence, good quality" arose 18c. as card-playing became popular. Meaning "outstanding pilot" dates from 1917 (technically, in WWI aviators' jargon, one who has brought down ...10 enemy planes, though originally in ref. to 5 shot down), from Fr. l'ace (1915), which, according to Bruce Robertson (ed.) "Air Aces of the 1914-1918 War" was used in prewar Fr. sporting publications for "top of the deck" boxers, cyclists, etc. Sports meaning of "point scored" (1819) led to that of "unreturnable serve" (1889). The verb meaning "to score" (in sports) is first attested 1923, and led to the extended student slang sense of "get high marks" (1959). Ace in the hole "concealed advantage" is attested from 1915.