the rat race


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rat race

1. A fierce competition for success, wealth, or power. The company's environment felt like a rat race—employees were constantly sabotaging each other to climb the corporate ladder.
2. A busy, tiring routine. Cathy was tired of the rat race and knew she needed to get a less stressful job.
See also: race, rat

the rat race

COMMON The rat race is a job or way of life in which people compete aggressively with each other in order to be successful and there is no time to relax or enjoy yourself. I had to get out of the rat race for a while and think about what was important in life. Do you ever fantasize about leaving the rat race behind?
See also: race, rat

the ˈrat race

(disapproving) intense competition for success in jobs, business, etc., typical of a big city: Paul got caught up in the rat race and was never at home.They longed to escape from the rat race and move out of the city.
See also: race, rat