jockey for position

This page is about the idiom jockey for position

American English


If you jockey for position, you try to get yourself in a good position in relation to others who're competing for the same opportunity or the same goal.

For example

  • Several of us are jockeying for position as we negotiate with the manager for the job of running the new branch office.

  • Four candidates will jockey for position in the run-up to the Democratic convention next month.

Origin: This phrase is borrowed from horse-racing and refers to the way the riders, or jockeys, compete with each other to get their horses into the best position as they approach the final sprint to the finish line.


This idiom is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

Whoever does the best job of jockeying for position has the

a. worst chance of winning

b. only chance of winning

c. best chance of winning

Idiom of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey