rat race


rat race


  • to be following a routine that is both, exhaustive as well as competitive
  • to be in a competitive struggle to achieve the basics of life
  • to be competing for power or wealth in a circular manner

Example Sentences

  1. The man has been in a rat race all his life. No wonder he is enjoying his retired life to the fullest.
  2. I am not going to enter this rat race. I may as well do something else.
  3. It is a rat race at my work place. Every person there is looking either for a promotion or to change their job.
  4. This school prepares its students for the rat race from the very beginning.
  5. She is still so young, it is sad to see her being so caught in the rat race.
  6. Marie has struggled for a long time to come out of the rat race for a very long time.
  7. Her education qualification and street smart attitude never let her get caught in the rat race.


The phrase originates from the rat cages where rats are given a circular path to run on. It is a race which leads the rat nowhere but is full of struggles and exhaustion. This phrase compares the human life and some of the struggles to be as pointless as that one. A person who can come out of it is considered a true winner.

Rat race idiom meaning, phrase rat race origin, example sentences of rat race idiomatic expression, rat race definition and synonym words.

Share your opinions2 Opinions

MR. Meyer decided to leave the rat race by quitting the job he disliked.

‒ Harmoney October 6, 2020

Hi there,
Good morning. This idiomatic phrase just came out of my head. But I wasn’t quite sure about the meaning and usage of it. Luckily, I came across this site which explains the meaning by using it in different sentences. Thank you for this. Much appreciated.


‒ Jeevaraj Thangarasa July 18, 2018

What's on your mind?