Definition of jockey in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɒki/

noun (plural jockeys)

A person who rides in horse races, especially as a profession: a former champion jockey
More example sentences
  • Three of them became Irish champion jockey at various times between 1840 and 1882.
  • Champion jockeys were soon riding on the Continent and in Ireland as well.
  • Camejo is currently the meet's leading apprentice jockey with 30 races won through Tuesday.
rider, horseman, horsewoman, equestrian
Australian informal hoop

verb (jockeys, jockeying, jockeyed)

[no object]
1Struggle by every available means to gain or achieve something: both men will be jockeying for the two top jobs
More example sentences
  • We hear endlessly this talk of a power struggle, different factions jockeying for position.
  • Hands in pockets, they stand around jostling, jockeying for place, small fights breaking out and calming.
  • Over 170,000 have voted since the poll began on Sunday 20 October and competition is intense with the ten contenders jockeying for position.
1.1 [with object and adverbial] Handle or manipulate (someone or something) in a skilful manner: he jockeyed his machine into a dive
More example sentences
  • He's diminutive enough to jockey a horse, but he's tough enough to wear down a defense.
  • It is a competition where the elite use personal connections to jockey their cronies into key positions and thus win power and influence.
  • It went down like this: In mid-January Darren was jockeying the phones at Atlantic Records on a weeklong temp assignment.
manoeuvre, ease, edge, manipulate, work, steer;
engineer, inveigle, insinuate, ingratiate, wheedle, coax, cajole
informal finagle



Example sentences
  • And if the proposed Scottish academy offers a professorship of all-weather jockeyship, only one Scot should be considered for the post.
  • Even for a good cause, celebrity jockeyship doesn't bear thinking about.
  • With three such talents plus McCoy and Tony Dobbin on this side of the water, Irish jockeyship is in good health.


Late 16th century: diminutive of Jock. Originally the name for an ordinary man, lad, or underling, the word came to mean 'mounted courier', hence the current sense (late 17th century). Another early use 'horse-dealer' (long a byword for dishonesty) probably gave rise to the verb sense 'manipulate', whereas the main verb sense probably relates to the behaviour of jockeys manoeuvring for an advantageous position during a race.

  • A pet form of the man's name Jock, a northern form of jack, jockey was originally used, rather like Jack, for any ordinary man, boy, or underling. From this came a specialized sense of a servant as a mounted courier, which in the 17th century gave rise to today's meaning. In American slang a jockey was a specific kind of worker—so a beer jockey was a barmaid, a garage jockey a garage attendant, and a typewriter jockey a typist. From there it was natural to call someone who played records a disc jockey, in the 1940s.

Words that rhyme with jockey

choccy, cocky, flocky, gnocchi, hockey, oche, pocky, rocky, schlocky, stocky

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: jockey

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