rat-race

rat race

noun Informal.
any exhausting, unremitting, and usually competitive activity or routine, especially a pressured urban working life spent trying to get ahead with little time left for leisure, contemplation, etc.

Origin:
1935–40, Americanism

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World English Dictionary
rat race
 
n
a continual routine of hectic competitive activity: working in the City is a real rat race

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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