Stay on top of

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Stay on top of is an idiom with an uncertain source. We will examine the meaning of the common saying stay on top of, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To stay on top of is to keep abreast of, to remain informed about, to be completely aware of what is happening. For instance, a manager may stay on top of an employee, meaning she will keep track of the work that the employee is doing and guide that employee. An investor may stay on top of his finances, meaning he will keep track of his earnings and losses and will manage where his money goes. The origin of the expression stay on top of is unknown; however, it came into popularity in the mid-twentieth century and may have evolved from marketing or business jargon.


Make a list of all the tasks you have to complete or work on during the day and refer to it from time to time so that you stay on top of things. (Free Malaysia Today)

We want to make it easier for registered training providers to stay on top of your main reporting obligations as a condition of your registration.  (Mirage News)

“Based on a recent consumer report, organizations need to stay on top of privacy regulation as it is constantly evolving.” (Security Magazine)