Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ace v.

[the supremacy of the SE ace in cards]

1. (US) to survive, esp. to survive intensive police interrogation.

[US]C.G. Givens ‘The Chatter of Guns’ in Sat. Eve. Post 13 Apr.; list extracted in AS VI:2 1930 131: ace, v. To survive the third degree without giving in.
[US] ‘“Ace” and its Progeny’ in AS XVIII:1 Feb. 71/2: ace, v. To bear up under the third degree.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 17/1: Ace it. To prove oneself trustworthy in an emergency; as, for example, under police grilling. ‘Mike the Burglar is one ghee (fellow) you can count on to ace it when there’s a rumble (interference) on a caper (robbery).’.
[US]N. Algren Walk on the Wild Side 258: They jumped on my feet. They slapped my ears till I couldn’t hear. They put the glare in my eyes and held the lids open [...] but I aced it.

2. (US) to manipulate someone, esp. through flattery or deception.

[US]R. Chandler ‘Blackmailers Don’t Shoot’ in Red Wind (1946) 115: You aced yourself backwards when you let Landrey pack those letters around with him.
[US] ‘“Ace” and its Progeny’ in AS XVIII:1 Feb. 71/2: ace, v. [...] Also to cheat, defraud, swindle.
Times (Munster, IN) 19 Jan. 56/1: Slang keeps changing to keep up [...] ‘Aced Out— Fooled, exhausted.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Peacock Valhalla 333: Take a psycho [...] Play nuts and you’ll ace out of it.
[US]K. Brasselle Cannibals 106: I’ve done everything in the world to ace the scumbug out of position.

3. (US) to move or drive fast.

[US] ‘“Ace and its Progeny’ in AS XVIII:1 Feb. 71/2: ace it. Go fast, or drive fast.
[US]Da Bomb [Internet] ace (v) To leave wherever you are at without further delay Yo bro, let’s ace or we’re gonna miss this thing [University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 1999].

4. (US) to lead.

[US]F. Paley Rumble on the Docks (1955) 93: Go with Rocky, and make him ace the rumble.

5. (orig. US campus, also ace it, ace out) to do well, to succeed, e.g. in an examination.

[US]L.P. Boone ‘Gator Sl.’ AS XXXIV:2 156: To make a perfect score on a test is to ace it or bust it.
[US]G. Swarthout Where the Boys Are 6: Grinning at each other as though we had at last aced life itself. [Ibid.] 19: He aced his courses without buying books.
[US]Dundes & Schonhorn ‘Kansas University Sl.: A New Generation’ in AS XXXVIII:3 168: To acquit oneself creditably in an examination: ace out […] [Ibid.] ace it.
[US]Wisconsin State Jrnl 17 Jan 1-2: Getting an ‘A’ on a test is ‘aceing’ it or ‘hooking’ it. Getting an ‘F’ or failing is called ‘flagging’.
[US]Time 29 Oct. 98: The question of whether Hart will get his grades, whether he will ace-out Kingsfield’s course.
[US]B. Gutcheon New Girls (1982) 306: She [...] felt great that she was going to ace her exams.
[US]R. Price Breaks 33: No matter how many sociology [...] courses I might have aced [etc.].
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 61: With the lieutenant’s exam aced, within a year he would stand as Detective Lieutenant E. J. Exley.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 27 July 4: A player who auditions aces the read and wins the role.
[UK]M. Collins Keepers of Truth 24: Good luck on the exam, precious. I hope you ace it.
[US]K. Huff Steady Rain I i: I do know I aced that detective exam the third time in a row….
[US]R.T. Brown ‘Indebted’ in C. Rhatigan and N. Bird (eds) Pulp Ink 2 [ebook] That thing deep down [...] that let him ace exams after skipping class all semester.

6. to outwit.

[US]S. King It (1987) 518: I know when I’ve been aced.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 196: I guess you aced him there.

7. to kill.

[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 205: Even if he did ace one of his own people.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 91: There’s some guys [...] think you aced old Judge Goomer without provocation.
[US](con. 1967) J. Laurence Cat from Hué 442: Of all the words American troops used to describe death in Vietnam — aced, blown away [...] — the one I heard most was ‘wasted.’.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘The Detail’ Wire ser. 1 ep. 2 [TV script] Don‘t make sense to ace this motherfucker after he done testify.

In phrases

ace in (v.)

1. (US tramp) to curry favour successfully.

[US]V.W. Saul ‘Vocab. of Bums’ in AS IV:5 337: Ace in — To place yourself or a friend in the good graces of someone.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 17: Ace in. – To secure one’s self or a friend the notice and favourable attention of some one in authority.

2. (US Und., also make an ace-in) to interfere, to become involved with.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks 1/1: Ace in, to butt-in, to interfere.
[US] ‘“Ace” and its Progeny’ in AS XVIII:1 Feb. 71/2: ace in. To obtain an interest; to force oneself into a racket, or criminal venture. ‘We aced in (also, made an ace-in) with that mob (group of criminals) by using pressure (force).’.
[US]Anslinger & Tompkins Traffic In Narcotics n.p.: ace in. To get into a narcotics-selling ring.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972).

3. to trick into.

[US]‘Paul Cain’ Fast One (1936) 186: I don’t like the racket, anyway - I was aced in.
ace it up (v.)

(Aus.) to stop doing something, usu. as imper.

[Aus]C. Bowles G’DAY 58: Check it out — coulden organise a piss-up in a brewery. Ace it up son — yer burnin the snags!
[Aus]J.T. Pickle Aus.-Amer. Dict. 2: ACE IT UP: Knock it off. Stop it. Quit.
ace out (v.)

1. to defeat, to take something away.

[US]W.L. Alderson ‘Carnie Talk’ in AS XXVIII:2 114: aced out, part. phr. Unfairly deprived of rights.
[US]J. Langone Life at the Bottom 11: There was this Jap pain in the ass who was acing everyone out of the game.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 254: You’re acing Christina out of the Barletta story.

2. see sense 5 above.