Steal a march


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Steal a march'?

Gain an advantage over an opponent.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Steal a march'?

This phrase derives from the military manoeuvre of moving troops secretly, in order to gain an advantage. It has been used since at least the early 18th century, when it was cited in the London Gazette, 1716:

“We saw him… steal a March for our Preservation.”

Trend of steal a march in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.