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

rat race

Fig. a fierce struggle for success, especially in one's career or business. Bob got tired of the rat race. He's retired and gone to the country. The money market is a rat race, and many people who work in it get out quickly because of the stress.
See also: race, rat

rat race

Fierce competition to maintain or improve one's position in the workplace or social life. For example, You may not realize what a rat race it is to get research grants. This term presumably alludes to the rat's desperate struggle for survival. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
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

rat race

n. a dull and repetitive situation; a dull and unrewarding job. (see also daily grind.) I am really tired of this rat race—day after day. She dropped out of the rat race and moved to Vermont, where she opened a barber shop.
See also: race, rat

rat race, a

A relentless competition or struggle to advance oneself, or even to keep up. A twentieth-century expression transferring the rodent’s struggle for survival, it originated in America. It appears in Christopher Morley’s Kitty Foyle (1939): “Their own private life gets to be a rat race.”
See also: rat
References in periodicals archive ?
Runners take part in last year's Stockton River Rat Race PETER REIMANN
The Urban Gym has come off the back of events such as the popular annual Edinburgh Rat Race, (established in 2004) to be held on July 17 and 18 this year.
WHOOSH Shooting 'rapids' was part of the challenge BELFAST BOY Ball skills moment THEY'RE OFF More than 200 set off in Belfast's Rat Race at the weekend
Jimmy Wallace, a leisure industry manager, has spent weeks at home with his family, but has now decided to put off getting back into the rat race, and is planning a once in a lifetime trip to America.
TEAM WORK: Collectors at the Rat Race event to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust; ON COURSE: People take part in the Rat Race for charity PICTURE: ANY COMMINS www.chroniclelive.co.uk/buyaphoto ref: 01348501
From evaluating one's position and its pros and cons to overcome fear and minimizing fixed cost of living in the early stages, 7 STEPS TO LEAVING THE RAT RACE: FREE YOURSELF FROM THE 9 TO 5 GRIND covers part-time work, self-employment opportunities, and how to live like a pauper during the early stages of change.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- After toiling for Ernst and Young for three years and then as a controller for two more, CPA Troy Patton decided it Troy Patton, CPA was time to leave Indianapolis, IN the rat race and get out on his own.
The lifestyle here is not a rat race." Originally from Dallas, Smith headed overseas to play ball in 1977.
People in their 30s are cashing in on the equity they have in their homes to leave the rat race and do something more meaningful.
As Lily Tomlin said, "The bad thing about winning the rat race is that you're still a rat!"
* RAT RACE: Humans aren't alone in their Olympic ambitions.
Domestic Disturbance (Fri/Sat) (12); Rat Race (Fri/Sat)(12);
because many children are tired as a result of the educational rat race, the officials said.
"This selection process," the authors declared, "may have the effect, although not the intent, of keeping a disproportionate number of qualified women out of leadership positions in business and professional organizations."(4) Indeed, the male and female professionals who emerge from the rat race as winners may be personally ill equipped to address the consequences that shifting demographics have for professional and managerial employment relationships.
More than 1,000 people swam, crawled, climbed, jumped and splashed as the exhilarating Rat Race returned.