The Meaning of Ace: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of ace? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word ace, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word ace mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and Definitions as well as American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the term ace has a variety of different meanings. The word ace is frequently used as a slang term adjective for someone who is an export, or very good at what they do. This can also be used as a noun in a similar sense. Someone who is an ace is very good at their given field of expertise. An ace at math may receive a perfect score on their exam. If a close friend is excellent at billiards, you might call them an ace, or ace at billiards or pool. You might see this on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Ace is also used  to mean the number one, which is the smallest whole number, or one of four playing cards in a deck with a single pip on its face, as well as a die face, dice or domino with a single spot. This playing card comes in ace of clubs, ace of hearts, ace of diamonds and ace of spades. The ace of spades is the most powerful card and considered the highest playing card. In golf, an ace is also known as a hole in one, in which the golfer hits the golf ball off of the tee and directly into the first hole in one stroke or their first shot. Sometimes the term “ace in the hole” is also used to refer to some resource or reserve advantage over an opponent or rival. 

 In tennis, an ace is when one player serves so quickly that the other player cannot reach the ball. This term can be used to refer to a single point won by a stroke in many different sports such as baseball where it refers to a run or a single (a dated 19th century term), handball, and rackets. In the military, an ace is a military aircraft pilot or fighter pilot credited with destroying a certain small quantity or more of enemy aircraft, usually five. This can also be a slang term for a small quantity or amount, as in the term not worth an ace.

The term ace can also refer to asexuality, which is the state of not being attracted to any gender sexually. These people may or may not experience romantic attraction without sexual attraction. People who do not experience romantic attraction are called aromantic, or aro. People who are ace may or may not choose to be in romantic relationships or participate in sexual activity whether they have sexual desire or not. Asexuality is a spectrum, as is all sexual orientation. Some people choose to use these labels or not. The pronunciation of ace is eɪs.

There are many different words and phrases that have been derived from the word ace. These are listed below, from Word Sense.

  •  within an ace of
  •  U-boat ace
  •  ace in the hole
  •  aces and eights
  •  tank ace / tanker ace
  •  easy aces
  •  submarine ace / ace of the deep
  •  ace of aces
  •  ace up one’s sleeve
  •  flying ace
  •  bate an ace (see bate)
  •  jet ace
  •  panzer ace
  •  return ace
  •  fighter ace
  •  air ace
  •  be aces with

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word ace?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word ace. These are known as synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another given word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to learn if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself or if you wish to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of synonyms of ace is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  brilliant
  •  proficient
  •  prime
  •  splendid
  •  expert
  •  marvellous
  •  hotshot
  •  dab hand
  •  great
  •  authority
  •  champion
  •  a-one
  •  superstar
  •  genius
  •  whiz
  •  terrific
  •  tiptop
  •  excellent
  •  star
  •  past master
  •  master
  •  virtuoso
  •  outstanding
  •  super
  •  professional
  •  pro
  •  crack
  •  good
  •  whizz
  •  adept
  •  one
  •  capital
  •  specialist
  •  maven
  •  wizard
  •  maestro
  •  fabulous
  •  first-class
  •  first-rate
  •  heroine
  •  artist
  •  wonderful
  •  tops
  •  fantastic
  •  topnotch
  •  top-notch
  •  crackerjack
  •  superlative
  •  superior
  •  superb

There are also numerous different related words that mean the opposite of the word ace. These are known as antonyms, which are another great way to work on expanding your vocabulary. This list of antonyms of the word ace is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  disorganised person
  •  moron
  •  lamebrain
  •  vile
  •  second-rate
  •  all fingers and thumbs
  •  ordinary
  •  amateur
  •  terrible
  •  joker
  •  clod
  •  charlie
  •  bad
  •  mediocre
  •  potato quality
  •  knucklehead
  •  not good
  •  nitwit
  •  rotten
  •  meatball
  •  atrocious
  •  execrable
  •  common
  •  unsatisfactory
  •  lousy
  •  goof
  •  nincompoop
  •  inexpert
  •  low-grade
  •  second-class
  •  doofus
  •  appalling
  •  middling
  •  horrible
  •  substandard
  •  goofball
  •  pathetic
  •  loser
  •  inexperienced
  •  not perfect
  •  ignoramus
  •  awful
  •  not much cop
  •  inferior
  •  poor
  •  butterfingers
  •  cheap
  •  idiot
  •  fat-headed
  •  unskilled

What is the origin of the word ace?

According to Dictionary, the term ace has been used since 13c as the Middle English as, aas, ais, which comes from the Old French as, from Latin ass. The Latin ass is a stem of as that refers to a copper coin. This was initially used to refer to a unit of coinage that was the name of a small Roman coin.

Overall, the word ace means a skilled person or person who is adept or high quality at something. Ace cal also be used to refer to a playing card with a single pip like a spade, heart, club or diamond. The term ace also has numerous other meanings.


  1. Ace definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. What does ace mean? | Definitions 
  3. ace: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  4. Ace | Definition of Ace |
  5. Ace synonyms – 2 064 Words and Phrases for Ace | Power Thesaurus  
  6. Ace antonyms – 986 Opposites of Ace | Power Thesaurus