"playing card of a suit ranking above others," 1520s, alteration of triumph (n.), which also was the name of a card game.
"fabricate, devise," 1690s, from trump "deceive, cheat" (1510s), from Middle English trumpen (late 14c.), from Old French tromper "to deceive," of uncertain origin. Apparently from se tromper de "to mock," from Old French tromper "to blow a trumpet." Brachet explains this as "to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying ...." The Hindley Old French dictionary has baillier la trompe "blow the trumpet" as "act the fool," and Donkin connects it rather to trombe "waterspout," on the notion of turning (someone) around. Connection with triumph also has been proposed. Related: Trumped; trumping. Trumped up "false, concocted" first recorded 1728.
"trumpet," c. 1300, from Old French trompe "long, tube-like musical wind instrument" (12c.), cognate with Provençal tromba, Italian tromba, all probably from a Germanic source (compare Old High German trumpa, Old Norse trumba "trumpet"), of imitative origin.
1889, French, literally "deceives the eye," from tromper "to deceive," a verb of uncertain origin and the subject of many theories (see trump (v.2)).
mid-15c., "deceit, trickery," from Old French tromperie (14c.), from tromper "to deceive," of uncertain origin (see trump (v.2), which has influenced the spelling in English). Meaning "showy but worthless finery" is first recorded c. 1600.
in card-playing, "act of trumping when a player has no cards of the suit led," by 1856, from ruff (v.) "trump when unable to follow suit" (1760), from the name of the old game of ruff (1580s), from French roffle, earlier romfle (early 15c.), from Italian ronfa, which is perhaps a corruption of trionfo "triumph" (from French; compare trump (n.1)). The old game, a predecessor of whist, was in vogue c. 1590-1630.
in cards, "trump when unable to follow suit," 1760, from the card game ruff (see ruff (n.2)). Related: Ruffed; ruffing.