jock·​ey | \ ˈjä-kē How to pronounce jockey (audio) \
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

Verb 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 Self-promoting politicians jockey for appearances on partisan media and shamelessly spread disinformation about the other party. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Some didn't conserve | Stop the cultural war | We've seen it before," 6 Mar. 2021 Technical difficulties are unavoidable, and there is the occasional fumble such as Gary Stevens, working from his home office, appearing to misidentify the winner by congratulating a horse and jockey who finished off the board. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: Tierney’s ‘Takes on TV’ is back," 14 Feb. 2021 Amid all of this, the jockey reaches with his hand to grab his iron and helps to get his boot back in place. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: Santa Anita to reopen to fans," 19 Mar. 2021 As for Prat, the jockey moved into a six-way tie for second with 12 stakes wins in a single Del Mar season. Bill Center, San Diego Union-Tribune, "C Z Rocket paying off big on investment," 29 Aug. 2020 Elliott is a former jockey who started training horses in 2006, according to his website. Jack Guy, CNN, "Top racing trainer Gordon Elliott apologizes over photo of himself sitting on a dead horse," 1 Mar. 2021 In eighth place on the second turn, Greatest Honour and jockey Jose Ortiz made a late charge to win the $300,000, Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Essential Quality wins Southwest, takes another step toward Kentucky Derby for Cox," 28 Feb. 2021 Eddie Willis, who trains Apollitical Gold, was named the champion trainer for the first time with James Flores named champion jockey for the second straight year. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: Jon White previews the Lecomte," 15 Jan. 2021 The eve of one of the more anticipated days this year at Del Mar belonged to 6-year-old import Arklow, jockey Joel Rosario and trainer Richard Baltas. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Arklow, Rosario prove best in Hollywood Turf Cup," 27 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even as the two countries jockey for position on issues ranging from Hong Kong to 5G, the development and manufacturing of batteries is likely to emerge as a modern-day arms race. Nadia Schadlow, WSJ, "A Good Battery Is the Best Defense Against a Military Assault," 30 Mar. 2021 In a normal year, as many as 100 pilot episodes are produced during this February through April window — sample shows that then jockey for a slot on a network prime-time schedule. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "Shaken studios. Empty theaters. What Hollywood lost during the pandemic," 9 Dec. 2020 The state party’s former chairwoman and a former state Treasurer are expected to jockey for who is more Trumpian. Philip Elliott, Time, "Why Mitch McConnell Might Not Get a Donald Trump Reprieve," 9 Mar. 2021 Brandon Maxwell’s peers jockey for jobs in Paris and Milan. Vogue, "Brandon Maxwell Is Walmart’s New Creative Director for Its Elevated Fashion Brands," 16 Mar. 2021 The spat has also raised concerns about vaccine nationalism, as countries desperate to end the pandemic and return to normalcy jockey for limited supplies of the precious vaccine shots. Raf Casert, Star Tribune, "Tensions rise as AstraZeneca, EU hold vaccine delivery talks," 27 Jan. 2021 With less than two weeks left in the session, the pace is picking up as lawmakers jockey to advance hundreds of bills. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah lawmakers have been busy — from reining in executive power to creating what some have called a homelessness ‘czar’," 20 Feb. 2021 In a memo to employees about the changes, JetBlue said travelers have enjoyed not having to jockey for overhead bin space during the coronavirus pandemic given less-full planes. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "JetBlue's cheapest tickets are getting cheaper but will come with a major catch: no carry-on bag allowed," 17 Feb. 2021 Watching the young employees jockey for position and avoid being cut will remind you of the early antics at Seattle Grace Hospital. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, "Space comedy 'Moonbase 8' and four other shows our TV critic is watching this week," 6 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for jockey

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jockey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for jockey



English Language Learners Definition of jockey

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone who rides horses in races
informal : 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
chiefly US : to change the position of (something) by slow and careful movements


jock·​ey | \ ˈjä-kē How to pronounce jockey (audio) \
plural jockeys

Kids Definition of jockey

1 : a professional rider in a horse race

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