Steal a march on someone or something

Origin of: Steal a march on someone or something

Steal a march on someone or something

Stealing a march has come to mean the gaining of an advantage, especially secretly or slyly and dates in this sense from latter half of the 1700s. The original expression dates from the 1400s and refers to the sound military practice of manoeuvring troops in secret to gain a strategic advantage over an enemy.