head·​way | \ ˈhed-ˌwā \

Definition of headway

1a : motion or rate of motion in a forward direction
2 : headroom (as under an arch) sufficient to allow passage
3 : the time interval between two vehicles traveling in the same direction on the same route

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of headway in a Sentence

the ant was making little headway carrying a crumb that was about five times his size

Recent Examples on the Web

But promised labor and other reforms to help alleviate the burden on families that discourage couples from having more children have made limited headway. Mari Yamaguchi, The Seattle Times, "Japan finance minister Aso sorry for criticizing childless," 5 Feb. 2019 And experts are skeptical that this trade truce represents a legitimate headway. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The US and China reach a compromise — but the trade standoff is far from over," 2 Dec. 2018 After 2016 intelligence reports showed North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs were making headway, Washington ratcheted up economic sanctions, including on Kim Jong Un. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "U.S. and North Korean Spies Have Held Secret Talks For a Decade," 21 Jan. 2019 Peter Aldhous writes about new research from Microsoft about how Russians harnessed viral sharing: Most Russian trolls made little headway, but the star performers scored some big hits. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Google walkout offers a playbook for successful corporate protests," 2 Nov. 2018 At last, a global effort to combat the crisis is making headway. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 This issue hasn’t made much headway with lawmakers, who have been leery of regulating private schools, especially religious ones. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "Private Schools Toughen Background Checks on Job Applicants," 29 Oct. 2018 Made some headway tonight on artwork for the upcoming Tarot collection for @katvondbeauty! Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Kat Von D Just Teased a New Tarot Makeup Collection on Instagram," 26 Sep. 2018 Despite a major mobilization of soldiers, park rangers, expert divers, engineers and geologists, the operation has made little headway. New York Times, "Thailand Cave Rescue Mission Will Continue, Prime Minister Tells Families," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'headway.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of headway

1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about headway

Dictionary Entries near headway








Statistics for headway

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for headway

The first known use of headway was in 1730

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for headway


head·​way | \ ˈhed-ˌwā \

Kids Definition of headway

1 : movement in a forward direction (as of a ship)
2 : progress entry 1 sense 2 Have you made any headway on your project?

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on headway

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with headway

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for headway

Spanish Central: Translation of headway

Nglish: Translation of headway for Spanish Speakers

Comments on headway

What made you want to look up headway? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a servile follower or underling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!