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ace (n.)

c. 1300, "one at dice," from Old French as "one at dice" (12c.), from Latin as "a unit, one, a whole, unity;" also the name of a small Roman coin (originally a rectangular bronze plaque weighing one pound, it eventually was reduced by depreciation to half an ounce; in imperial times it became a round coin). The Latin word also is the source of Spanish as, Italian asso, German ass, Dutch aas, Danish es. It is perhaps originally Etruscan and related to Greek heis "one" (from PIE root *sem- (1) "one, as one"), or it might be taken directly into Latin from the Greek word.

In English, it meant the side of the die with only one mark before it meant the playing card with one pip (1530s). Because this was the lowest roll at dice, ace was used metaphorically in Middle English for "bad luck" or "something of no value;" but as the ace often is the highest playing card, the extended senses based on "excellence, good quality" arose 18c. as card-playing became popular. Ace in the hole in the figurative sense of "concealed advantage" is attested from 1904, from crooked stud poker deals.

Meaning "outstanding pilot" dates from 1917 (technically, in World War I aviators' jargon, one who has brought down 10 enemy planes, though originally in reference to 5 shot down), from French l'ace (1915), which, according to Bruce Robertson (ed.) "Air Aces of the 1914-1918 War" was used in prewar French sporting publications for "top of the deck" boxers, cyclists, etc. Sports meaning "point scored" (1819) led to sense of "unreturnable serve" (by 1889).

ace (v.)

"to score" in sports, 1922, in tennis, from ace (n.). This probably is the source of the student slang sense of "get high marks" (1959). Related: Aced; acing.

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Definitions of ace from WordNet
1
ace (n.)
a serve that the receiver is unable to reach;
ace (n.)
the smallest whole number or a numeral representing this number;
Synonyms: one / " / i / single / unity
ace (n.)
one of four playing cards in a deck having a single pip on its face;
ace (n.)
someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field;
Synonyms: adept / champion / sensation / maven / mavin / virtuoso / genius / hotshot / star / superstar / whiz / whizz / wizard / wiz
ace (n.)
proteolytic enzyme that converts angiotensin I into angiotensin II;
Synonyms: angiotensin converting enzyme / angiotensin-converting enzyme
ace (n.)
a major strategic headquarters of NATO; safeguards an area extending from Norway to Turkey;
Synonyms: Allied Command Europe
2
ace (v.)
succeed at easily;
Synonyms: breeze through / pass with flying colors / sweep through / sail through / nail
ace (v.)
score an ace against;
He aced his opponents
ace (v.)
play (a hole) in one stroke;
ace (v.)
serve an ace against (someone);
3
ace (adj.)
of the highest quality;
an ace reporter
Synonyms: A-one / crack / first-rate / super / tiptop / topnotch / top-notch / tops
From wordnet.princeton.edu