noun, plural jock·eys.

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), jock·eyed, jock·ey·ing.

verb (used without object), jock·eyed, jock·ey·ing.

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 formsjock·ey·like, jock·ey·ish, adjectivejock·ey·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for jockeying

handle, navigate, ride, move, direct, negotiate, twist, turn, position, guide, steer, pilot

Examples from the Web for jockeying

Contemporary Examples of jockeying

Historical Examples of jockeying

  • Jack Hamlin was here, and was jockeying to stop him, and interfered.

  • We must swallow it and the reputation of 'jockeying' with the Wheat Trust, too.

  • Coping, like jockeying, is suggestive of all kinds of trickery.

    The Slang Dictionary

    John Camden Hotten

  • Presently Peter was jockeying him into good humor with low talk.

    Red Fleece

    Will Levington Comfort

  • Very few, however, had their own carriages, and there was jockeying for the vehicles.

    The Duke's Children

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for jockeying



a person who rides horses in races, esp as a profession or for hire


  1. (tr)to ride (a horse) in a race
  2. (intr)to ride as a jockey
(intr 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 for jockey

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

Word Origin and History for jockeying



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.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper