prog·​ress | \ ˈprä-grəs How to pronounce progress (audio) , -ˌgres, US also and British usually ˈprō-ˌgres \

Definition of progress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a royal journey marked by pomp and pageant
(2) : a state procession
b : a tour or circuit made by an official (such as a judge)
c : an expedition, journey, or march through a region
2 : a forward or onward movement (as to an objective or to a goal) : advance
3 : gradual betterment especially : the progressive development of humankind
in progress
: going on : occurring


pro·​gress | \ prə-ˈgres How to pronounce progress (audio) \
progressed; progressing; progresses

Definition of progress (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move forward : proceed
2 : to develop to a higher, better, or more advanced stage

Examples of progress in a Sentence

Noun the rapid progress of the ship He made slow progress down the steep cliff. The project showed slow but steady progress. Verb The project has been progressing slowly. The work is progressing and should be completed soon. The caravan progressed slowly across the desert. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But visual progress is underway, particularly near Indianapolis. Kayla Dwyer, The Indianapolis Star, 2 Aug. 2022 In Africa, where 20 percent of people face hunger, progress was grindingly slow. New York Times, 1 Aug. 2022 The bad news was that progress had been slow, and the house remained a series of dilapidated courtyards, with a yellow dumpster in the front yard filled with soggy mattresses and splintered wood. Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, 27 July 2022 It’s a movement fueled by a desire to recover what has been lost, and by a sense that progress is possible. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 27 July 2022 When ideology yields to reality, progress is the result. William A. Galston, WSJ, 26 July 2022 This progress was unthinkable more than 20 years ago, when Senators John Kerry, a Democrat, and Bill Frist, a Republican led Congress in passing the first international AIDS spending bill. Gayle E. Smith, Forbes, 25 July 2022 The example of the still-unsuccessful, 35-year pursuit of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection is a reminder that scientific progress is always completely unpredictable. Kent Sepkowitz, CNN, 20 July 2022 Dottie Fulginiti has seen the debate from both sides — as an economic recovery planner for the Old Colony Planning Council and as chairwoman of the Select Board in Easton — and believes progress is possible. Globe Staff,, 19 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Somehow as the game would progress all of the bad around me became nonexistent and a small boy could fall asleep and dream of good things. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 Monkeypox typically starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever and muscle aches that progress into a widespread rash. Christine Mui, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2022 But his team's championship chances will hinge on how well the skill players progress, because Morenci and Pima will be ready to take over 2A now that Benson and Arizona Lutheran are gone. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 23 July 2022 There’s quite a bit to grasp in this endeavor, so start small and progress one photon at a time. Eric Adams, Popular Mechanics, 15 July 2022 Israel also expects further moves toward normalization with its Arab neighbors to come out of the Biden visit, including possible aviation links with Saudi Arabia and progress toward a regional air defense system. Neri Zilber, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 July 2022 The city’s port and economy are booming, and progress hangs like pollen in the air. Alex Pulaski, Washington Post, 8 July 2022 None of the physicians STAT spoke with have prescribed Paxlovid for a patient experiencing rebound, primarily because rebound cases often resolve on their own and rarely progress to a hospitalization or death. Edward Chen, STAT, 8 July 2022 The six candidates with the highest number of votes will be announced on Election Day, Aug. 2, and will then progress to November's General Election when the final three winners will be chosen. Sam Kmack, The Arizona Republic, 5 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of progress


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for progress


Middle English, from Anglo-French progrés, from Latin progressus advance, from progredi to go forth, from pro- forward + gradi to go — more at pro-, grade entry 1

Learn More About progress

Time Traveler for progress

Time Traveler

The first known use of progress was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near progress



progress chart

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for progress

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Progress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for progress


prog·​ress | \ ˈprä-grəs How to pronounce progress (audio) , -ˌgres \

Kids Definition of progress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of moving toward a goal The ship made rapid progress.
2 : gradual improvement He's not a good reader, but he is making progress.
in progress
: happening at the present time The trial is in progress.


pro·​gress | \ prə-ˈgres How to pronounce progress (audio) \
progressed; progressing

Kids Definition of progress (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to move forward in place or time : advance The story progresses.
2 : to move toward a higher, better, or more advanced stage

More from Merriam-Webster on progress

Nglish: Translation of progress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of progress for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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