rat race

(redirected from rat-race)

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 ?
One that was extremely apt and amusing ran like this: 'The rat-race is over; the rats won!' How well put and how apt; given the state of the hapless world man is condemned to live in today!
One wonders with Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Sonam Kapoor and several other celebrities having their own labels and clothing lines, did Sharma feel pressure to enter the fashion industry "rat-race".
ENGLISH prospects in the Champions League are hampered by the Premier League rat-race - that's according to Louis van Gaal, the Premier League flat-face.
Rat-race hybrid couplers are key components in the design of microwave devices such as power amplifiers, mixers, and antenna systems due to their simplicity, wide bandwidth in power dividing distribution, and a high isolation between the ports [1,2].
We should take the rat-race out of the TV ratings race.
Isaiah's poem sets the choice that God's people are always making--free water, milk, and bread, or the rat-race of self sufficiency.
They're all determined to leave the rat-race behind, and transform their lives.
Perhaps they have no option if they want to succeed in the selfish rat-race.
In the BBC Northern Ireland programme, Quitting the Rat-Race, island man Peter McLennon advises that it is never too late.
"Scotland's about escaping the rat-race but high fashion is about the rat- race, about living in the fast lane.
They also refuse to open their stores on Sundays, because Sunday should be a family day, away from the rat-race of consumerism.
"A rat-race equilibrium can occur among associates in [consulting firms,] even though clients are billed by the project rather than the hour," the researchers observed.(3)
Dedicating yourself to the rat-race at a low-wage job is a sign of morality and health.
But away from the battle to run the sport, the threetime world champion has decided to "escape the rat-race, and go back to basics".
Mostly, it was the realisation that there was more to life than the rat-race and luxuries, and that they would all make the most of life henceforth.