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un·​der·​way ˌən-dər-ˈwā How to pronounce underway (audio)
: occurring, performed, or used while traveling or in motion
underway replenishment of fuel


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variants or less commonly under way
: in motion : not at anchor or aground
The ship was underway at dawn.
: into motion from a standstill
The train should be underway again soon.
: in progress : happening now
Preparations for the celebration are already underway.
A search is underway.
The season got underway with a bang.

Examples of underway in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Spreading the word about the positive efforts that are currently underway is of equal importance, said Samuels, who shouted out Looking Ahead, an organization specifically geared toward providing resources and education to young performers. Brande Victorian, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Apr. 2024 Restoration works are underway to restore power to the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, Ukraine’s state energy company Ukrenergo said. Sophie Tanno, CNN, 10 Apr. 2024 The optimism came as talks were underway in Cairo on Sunday and Monday, mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the United States. Shira Rubin, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2024 Once the tree’s fungal infection is underway, the beetles indulge in a fungi feast. Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Apr. 2024 Filming for season 2 of Tulsa King is currently underway in Atlanta. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 9 Apr. 2024 Additionally, plans are underway for Londra to embark on a global tour. Isabela Raygoza, Billboard, 9 Apr. 2024 The streetcars have been fitted with promotional wraps ahead of the NFL draft, slated for downtown Detroit later this month, but that arrangement was underway before the loan deal, according to Lijana. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, 9 Apr. 2024 There are no suspects in custody, and an investigation is underway, police said. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'underway.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


1743, in the meaning defined above


1720, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of underway was in 1720

Dictionary Entries Near underway

Cite this Entry

“Underway.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underway. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

under way

: in or into motion
a ship getting under way
: in progress
preparations are under way

More from Merriam-Webster on underway

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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