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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


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TRUMP (1) (0. Fr. trompe ), originally the name of a musical instrument, of which "trumpet" is a diminutive; the term is now chiefly used in the sense of the sound of a trumpet, or a sound resembling it, such as is ! made by an elephant. It has been usually accepted that the Romanic forms (cf. Span. and Port. trompa ) represent a corruption of Latin tuba, tube. On the other hand a distinct imitative or echoic origin is sometimes assigned. (2) In the sense of a playing card belonging to the suit which beats all other cards of other suits for the period during which its rank lasts, "trump" is a corruption of "triumph." The name was first used of a game of cards, also known as "ruff," which was the parent of the modern game of whist. There are traces in English of an early confusion with a term meaning to deceive or trick, cf. "trumpery," properly deceit, imposture, hence idle talk, gossip, now chiefly used as an adjective, worthless, trivial. This is an adaptation of French tromper, to deceive, which, according to the generally received explanation, meant "to play on the trumpet," se tromper de quelqu'un being equivalent to play with a person, hence to cheat.

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Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Trump'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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