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

With the unhurried efficiency of a filly guided by a jockey who knew the race plan, Howboutthiscowgirl proved to be both the fastest and best-looking runner in the $65,000 Two Altazana Stakes. Hal Lundgren, Houston Chronicle, "Howboutthiscowgirl wins Two Altazana Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park," 17 Mar. 2018 When Justify emerged from the haze in view of the grandstand, trainer Bob Baffert could see jockey Mike Smith's white silks and knew his horse had been pushed to his limit with 100 yards left to go. Stephen Whyno, Houston Chronicle, "Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive," 19 May 2018 Or the old tools and metal parts that became a wall-hung, three-dimensional depiction of a jockey and his horse. Christian Scaffidi,, "Artscape: One man's trash is Benjamin Bullins' treasure," 18 Apr. 2018 Next Saturday, Justify's owners along with trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith will receive their engraved Kentucky Derby trophies at Churchill. Beth Harris, Houston Chronicle, "Owners: Triple Crown winner Justify will race again," 11 June 2018 Justify, ridden by jockey Mike Smith, wins the 143rd Preakness Stakes at Pimlico race track on Saturday May 19 in Baltimore. Childs Walker,, "Frank Stronach sees long-term potential for Preakness at Pimlico as part of broader fight vs. poverty," 5 June 2018 Sunday’s result: Queen Shelly Ann was very unlucky, hitting the side of the gate, then swerving in with her jockey losing the left iron until near the 5/8ths mark. John Cherwa,, "Racing! Happy Fourth of July," 4 July 2018 His jockey is Mike Smith, a physical marvel at age 52, who climbed aboard Justify in his second race on March 11, and has not lost. Tim Layden,, "It's Instinctive to Compare Justify's Triple Crown to American Pharoah's but Both Share Connection to Greatness," 10 June 2018 His jockey had a new look for the race, wearing China Horse Club’s red silks with yellow stars instead of the customary white silks with a green star that represent WinStar Farm. New York Times, "Simply Perfect: Justify Wins the Triple Crown," 9 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 855 Now that the specification has been written, chipmakers are jockeying for position in the 5G space. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 855 mobile chip as it readies for 5G," 4 Dec. 2018 Both companies are jockeying to become one-stop shops for all types of available urban transportation, including cars, bikes, scooters, and more. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Citi Bike to triple in size, thanks to $100 million from new owner Lyft," 29 Nov. 2018 This is yet another race in which the candidates are jockeying for the Trump vote and Trump weighed in late last month, endorsing John James over Sandy Pensler. Maggie Astor, The Seattle Times, "5 states are voting today. Here’s what to watch.," 7 Aug. 2018 The Playoff Race First, a quick look at the giant mess of squads still jockeying for playoff spots. Jeremy Woo,, "NBA Draft Implications: What's At Stake in the Season's Final Week?," 6 Apr. 2018 Drivers who had the 10th through 33rd fastest efforts on Saturday will jockey for starting positions in the fourth row and behind. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "Hinchcliffe: 'At this point I believe I won't (start the race)'," 20 May 2018 Along with American Pharoah, Espinoza has jockeyed War Emblam and California Chrome to wins at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Khadrice Rollins,, "Get to Know Bolt d'Oro: Kentucky Derby Favorite Named After Usain Bolt," 3 May 2018 The trick will be to find a path that can appease vulnerable members and base-pleasing conservatives in a difficult election year -- and to save face for leadership while jockeying to replace outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan. Lauren Fox And Tal Kopan, CNN, "House Republicans gear up for marathon immigration debate," 7 June 2018 Houlihan, bell-lap leader Jenny Simpson and Laura Muir came off the race's final curve jockeying for the lead in a three-wide tie before Houlihan overtook them in the second lane. Andrew Greif,, "Shelby Houlihan wins at Prefontaine Classic while Caster Semenya dismisses talk of IAAF gender rules," 26 May 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

Statistics for jockey

Last Updated

10 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on jockey

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with jockey

Spanish Central: Translation of jockey

Nglish: Translation of jockey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of jockey for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about jockey

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