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[jok-ee] /ˈdʒɒk i/
noun, plural jockeys.
a person who rides horses professionally in races.
Informal. a person who pilots, operates, or guides the movement of something, as an airplane or automobile.
verb (used with object), jockeyed, jockeying.
to ride (a horse) as a jockey.
Informal. to operate or guide the movement of; pilot; drive.
to move, bring, put, etc., by skillful maneuvering:
The movers jockeyed the sofa through the door.
to trick or cheat:
The salesman jockeyed them into buying an expensive car.
to manipulate cleverly or trickily:
He jockeyed himself into office.
verb (used without object), jockeyed, jockeying.
to aim at an advantage by skillful maneuvering.
to act trickily; seek an advantage by trickery.
Origin of jockey
1520-30; special use of Jock + -ey2
Related forms
jockeylike, jockeyish, adjective
jockeyship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jockey
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yesterday she was shod in light racin' pads, an' under her own jockey.

    Down the Mother Lode Vivia Hemphill
  • At one lucid moment I had the brilliant idea of becoming a jockey!

    An Anarchist Woman Hutchins Hapgood
  • I mean to try, but I'm quite sure that the jockey who takes me in hand ought to be very steady himself.

    Phineas Finn Anthony Trollope
  • And if your horse wins, the jockey gets all the praise and the petting.

  • But during the race there was a critical moment as the horses entered the Dip and his jockey was seen to move in the saddle.

    London in the Sixties One of the Old Brigade
British Dictionary definitions for jockey


a person who rides horses in races, esp as a profession or for hire
  1. (transitive) to ride (a horse) in a race
  2. (intransitive) to ride as a jockey
(intransitive) often foll by for. to try to obtain an advantage by manoeuvring, esp literally in a race or metaphorically, as in a struggle for power (esp in the phrase jockey for position)
to trick or cheat (a person)
Word Origin
C16 (in the sense: lad): from name Jock + -ey
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jockey

1520s, "boy, fellow," originally a Scottish proper name, variant of Jack. The meaning "person who rides horses in races" first attested 1660s.


1708, "trick, outwit, gain advantage," from jockey (n.) perhaps from its former additional sense of "horse trader" (1680s). Meaning "to ride a horse in a race" is from 1767. Related: Jockeyed; jockeying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for jockey



The driver or pilot of any vehicle: airplane jockey/ tank jockey (1912+)

Related Terms

blip jockey, desk jockey, hogger

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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