rat race


: strenuous, wearisome, and usually competitive activity or rush

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web It’s not meant to be a rat race. Clayton Davis, Variety, 22 Feb. 2023 Still, Chu doesn’t want to fully embrace the trend of tangping, or lying flat, a rejection of the country’s rat race that gained popularity a few years ago. Los Angeles Times, 30 Jan. 2023 In a city like New York, where life is often a rat race on steroids, King stands apart because warmth, style, and artfulness abound there. Kitty Greenwald, Vogue, 22 Nov. 2022 In his world, both the modern rat race and its antithesis seem equally tainted. Corey S Powell, Discover Magazine, 17 Feb. 2017 If companies continue this rat race, employees will be less productive over time, and more stressed. Luciana Paulise, Forbes, 10 Jan. 2023 Musk has become their poster boy for a return to the pre-pandemic norms of the rat race. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 27 Dec. 2022 Sure, trying to do it all could be unrelenting at times; but everyone was in the rat race right along with her. Trey Williams, Fortune, 13 Dec. 2022 That experience and its aftermath deeply rattled him and contributed to his decision to distance himself from the Hollywood rat race. Ty Burr, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rat race.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rat race was in 1937

Dictionary Entries Near rat race

Cite this Entry

“Rat race.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rat%20race. Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

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