jock·ey | \ˈjä-kē \
plural jockeys

Definition of jockey 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who rides or drives a horse especially as a professional in a race

2 : a person who operates or works with a specified vehicle, device, object, or material a bus jockey pencil jockeys


jockeyed; jockeying

Definition of jockey (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to maneuver or manipulate by adroit or devious means was jockeyed out of the job

b : to change the position of by a series of movements jockey a truck into position

2a : to ride or drive (a horse) as a jockey

b : drive, operate

3 : to deal shrewdly or fraudulently with

intransitive verb

1 : to maneuver for advantage often used in the phrase jockey for position

2 : to act as a jockey

Examples of jockey in a Sentence


There was a lot of political jockeying at the fund-raiser. The driver carefully jockeyed the truck into a narrow space in the crowded parking lot.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But jockeys say Smith's age is actually an advantage. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Will Justify win the Triple Crown? Meet the undefeated colt that could become a horse racing legend," 4 June 2018 The two schools jockey to outrank each other in academics and prestigious scholar programs, too. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Which Arizona university is the best? It depends which rankings you value," 26 June 2018 Or jockeys whipping him mercilessly toward a never-ending parade of finish lines. Peter Gwin, WSJ, "The Horses That Changed History," 19 June 2018 Justify is Ridden by 52-Year-Old Jockey Mike Smith At the Belmont Stakes, Justify will once again be ridden by jockey Mike Smith, who has more than 5,400 career wins. Jason Duaine Hahn,, "Meet Justify, the 3-Year-Old Horse Racing for a Rare Triple Crown Saturday at the Belmont Stakes," 8 June 2018 Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will be riding him Mike Smith is hoping to win another Belmont Stakes — and help take the Triple Crown in the process. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Will Justify win the Triple Crown? Meet the undefeated colt that could become a horse racing legend," 4 June 2018 And the colt’s Hall of Fame jockey, Mike Smith, is plenty familiar with the Belmont Park racetrack, having won the Belmont Stakes in 2010 and 2013. Nick Talbot, San Antonio Express-News, "Writer’s Roundtable: Who should Longhorns play? Alabama or Texas A&M?," 26 May 2018 Their latest: attending the Royal Ascot for opening day— and presenting the winning trophy for the St. James’ Palace Stakes this afternoon, won by Italian jockey Frankie Dettori and champion horse Without Parole. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Had Such a Grand Old Time at the Horse Race," 19 June 2018 That’s where draft classes and vets laboring through the first four years of their minimal rookie contracts come in, because many of them jockey to be solid contributors and thus reach a big payday. Omar Kelly,, "Who are the best Dolphins players dollar for dollar? Miami's best bargains," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Here is a position-by-position look at the veterans and newcomers jockeying for roster spots. Edward Lee,, "Ravens 2018 position-by-position breakdown: offensive line," 13 July 2018 Representative Rick Larsen, Democrat of Washington, said about the leadership jockeying. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Top Democrat’s Defeat Throws Party Leadership Into Turmoil," 27 June 2018 If that job was being a parent, ambitious men would all be jockeying to be the best father in the world. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Motherhood Is Not a Woman's Most Important Job," 17 Mar. 2017 There has been extensive behind-the-scenes jockeying over those exemptions for the last three months, but there has been no real public accounting of what criteria led to those exemptions in the first place, or what led to their removal. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "The Economy Can Handle Steel and Aluminum Tariffs. The Real Risk Is Erratic Policy.," 31 May 2018 The behind-the-scenes jockeying to clear contested midterm primary fields is one contentious battleground. Gregory Krieg, CNN, "There's a new Democratic agenda taking shape. It's more and more progressive. Can it survive success?," 30 Apr. 2018 Ideally, this would lead to a scrum of cars all jockeying for the same zone and bonking each other out of it. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Onrush game review: Sexy arcade racing in serious need of a tune-up," 5 June 2018 The two of them jockeyed for the lead, combining to pace 124 of 200 laps (Carpenter 65; Power 59). Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Will Power achieves immortality with Indy 500 win," 27 May 2018 During the bubble years, men jockeyed to take women out on expensive dates and young people flooded ski resorts and other overseas travel destinations. Mari Saito, New York Times, "Bright Lights, Big Shoulder Pads: A Timid Japan Recalls Its Bubble Era," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jockey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of jockey


1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1708, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for jockey


Jockey, Scots nickname for John

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Dictionary Entries near jockey





jockey boot

jockey cap

jockey club

Phrases Related to jockey

jockey for position

Statistics for jockey

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for jockey

The first known use of jockey was in 1643

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More Definitions for jockey



English Language Learners Definition of jockey

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone who rides horses in races

: someone who operates or works with a specified vehicle, device, object, or material



English Language Learners Definition of jockey (Entry 2 of 2)

: to do something in an effort to get an advantage

: to change the position of (something) by slow and careful movements


jock·ey | \ˈjä-kē \
plural jockeys

Kids Definition of jockey

1 : a professional rider in a horse race

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