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 Prosecutors and police track individuals’ progress and can still file criminal charges if someone fails to adhere to the program’s requirements. Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2022 Some progress: Since Monday, 66 potential jurors have been questioned in the second phase of jury selection. Victoria Ballard, Sun Sentinel, 18 May 2022 Spring progress: Gebbia and Gulbranson returned to action after spending more than a year recovering from injuries. oregonlive, 18 May 2022 Despite the numbers, Bachelet highlighted progress made by the Mexican government, recognizing Mexico as the first country to allow a visit by the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to work with authorities in 13 Mexican states. Claudia Rebaza, Karol Suarez And Aliza Kassim, CNN, 17 May 2022 For nearly a decade, a new narrative of the Marcos era as a period of peace, progress, and prosperity had been seeded on social media, particularly Facebook and YouTube, which Filipinos could access for free on their mobile phones. Sheila Coronel, The New Yorker, 17 May 2022 In his nightly address Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said no one can predict how long the war will last but that his country's forces have been making progress, including retaking six Ukrainian towns or villages in the past day. Arkansas Online, 14 May 2022 The startup electric truck manufacturer, which has struggled to keep up with early demand, announced its production progress — and the recall — in its first quarter earnings report Wednesday. Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2022 Some are more optimistic about Ukraine’s chances for continued, or even early, progress in the current phase of the war. Washington Post, 7 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Meanwhile, city officials Monday defended Lightfoot’s choice by saying the process was in fact thorough and must progress immediately to help shore up government finances. Alice Yin, Chicago Tribune, 23 May 2022 One impediment to progress has likely been Covid-19, which hit Black households harder than white ones, even when when factoring for pre-pandemic disparities. Jared Council, Forbes, 23 May 2022 The illness typically begins with flu-like symptoms that progress into a rash. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, 21 May 2022 Typically found in Africa, the virus causes fever, muscle aches, and lesions that progress through various stages before scabbing. Erin Prater, Fortune, 21 May 2022 What that means is 30-second sprints followed by a 60-second jog for a mile and gradually progress each week. Jeff Tomko, Men's Health, 20 May 2022 Lack of proficiency in math, science, reading comprehensive and English language arts will be hard to overcome as young people progress through their academic and working careers. Baltimore Sun, 18 May 2022 For people at risk of moderate to severe alcohol withdrawal, benzos also reduce the likelihood that symptoms will progress. Carly Vandergriendt, SELF, 17 May 2022 The state review wrapping up in Boston is looking at, among other elements, progress overhauling Boston’s special education system, where a disproportionate share of Black and Latino students study in separate classrooms. Christopher Huffaker,, 15 May 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

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Time Traveler for progress

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

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Progress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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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


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