steal a march

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steal a march

To gain an unexpected or surreptitious advantage over someone or something, as by accomplishing something before, or better than, someone else. The retail business managed to steal a march on its competitors by signing an exclusive export agreement with Europe. John and I were both trying to win Courtney's heart, but he stole a march when he managed to get tickets to Courtney's favorite band.
See also: march, steal

steal a march

COMMON If you steal a march on someone, you do something before them and so gain an advantage over them. Investors from other countries will be annoyed that their rivals have once again stolen a march on them.. In the 1980s, they stole a march on other Europeans by attracting massive amounts of foreign investment. Note: If an army steals a march on the enemy, it moves secretly and takes the enemy by surprise.
See also: march, steal