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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for jockey
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • jockey Redpath had been riding Lucretia in her gallops since she had come to Gravesend.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • He wants the mare stopped, an' don't want no muddlin' about with the jockey, see?

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Allis gave jockey Redpath the benefit of her knowledge of Lauzanne's peculiarities.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • jockey Grogan laughed and flung an insult over his shoulder.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • "But, boss——" There was a note of strong protest in the jockey's voice.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
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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