un·​der·​way | \ˌən-dər-ˈwā \

Definition of underway 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: occurring, performed, or used while traveling or in motion underway replenishment of fuel


variants: or less commonly under way

Definition of underway (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : in motion : not at anchor or aground

2 : into motion from a standstill

3 : in progress : afoot preparations were underway the season got underway with a bang

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Synonyms for underway

Synonyms: Adverb

afoot, under weigh

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Examples of underway in a Sentence


The train has had to stop briefly, but it should be under way again soon. Preparations for their arrival are already under way.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

House of Highlights is now owned by Bleacher Report and managed by two people, Raja and Drew Corrigan, with efforts under way to expand the brand on YouTube and Twitter. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Instagram star Omar Raja was feeling burnt out ... until Kobe Bryant gave him a pep talk," 13 July 2018 William Fleischli, executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and Illinois Association of Convenience Stores, said efforts already under way to educate youth about the dangers of smoking should continue to be the focus. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin City Council to consider raising minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21," 9 July 2018 Bermas, who did consulting for hotels and restaurants, saw there was an effort under way to help street kids get simple food service jobs. Allie Torgan, CNN, "From tourist to altruist, how a New Yorker embraced Vietnam," 10 May 2018 Russia Fashion Week is currently under way in Moscow. Style Du Monde, Vogue, "The Best Street Style From Russia Fashion Week’s Spring 2019 Shows," 15 Oct. 2018 Indeed, previous studies have found at least 100 good systems to look for exomoons, and efforts are under way to find them at Beta Pictoris b, a nearby gas giant. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "We're Close To Confirming the Very First Exomoon," 3 Oct. 2018 As The Guardian reported: Unsworth told journalists at the cave site, where a cleanup operation is under way, that the remarks about him were an attack on the entire rescue crew. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Elon Musk could face lawsuit for calling cave rescuer a “pedo guy”," 16 July 2018 That group just discussed a ferry study under way at Boston Harbor Now, the nonprofit that sponsored Thursday’s panel. Jon Chesto, BostonGlobe.com, "Greater Boston mayors look to integrate ferry services," 25 May 2018 Many were finding success in Mexico with a cutting-edge, intra-arterial multi-drug study under way at Monterrey’s Hospital Angeles Valle Oriente. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Teen gets 'Supernatural' help in cancer fight," 17 Jan. 2018

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

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First Known Use of underway


1743, in the meaning defined above


1720, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for underway


probably from Dutch onderweg, from Middle Dutch onderwegen, literally, under or among the ways

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Statistics for underway

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Time Traveler for underway

The first known use of underway was in 1720

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with underway

Nglish: Translation of underway for Spanish Speakers

Comments on underway

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


a nest or breeding place

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