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

Essential Meaning of progress

1 : movement forward or toward a place the rapid progress of the ship He made slow progress down the steep cliff.
2 : the process of improving or developing something over a period of time the progress of science The project showed slow but steady progress. See More ExamplesShe offered a progress report. [=a report about how much work has been done on something] We're not finished yet, but we're making progress. [=we are moving forward in our work; our work is proceeding/progressing]Hide

Full 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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Neither Morris or Barton are the creators that Jamal Murray is, and while Porter may be as much of a scorer or ultimately better his consistency is still a work in progress. Joel Rush, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 Jollibee Pembroke Pines is a work-in-progress, with a limited menu that will be expanded next year with more traditional Philippine dishes, Yorro says. Phillip Valys,, 13 Oct. 2021 Even then, downtown’s southern flank was a work in progress. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Oct. 2021 Holliday, still a work in progress, deserves to settle into her brilliance. Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct. 2021 Responding to reports of a commercial burglary in progress, deputies found a vehicle. William Thornton |, al, 10 Oct. 2021 Officers responding to a call for a shooting in progress about 2 a.m. found the man in the front passenger seat of a vehicle in the 900 block of Probandt Street in the near South Side. Caroline Tien, San Antonio Express-News, 9 Oct. 2021 Their trunk was full of water and Cheetos; the screen perched on White’s lap, a real-time look at the city’s 911 log, was a litany of woe: suicide, fight in progress, child neglect, wanted person, missing person. Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2021 From its founding, America has been a work in progress—aspiring to values, recognizing shortcomings, and working to fix them. Alondra Nelson, Wired, 8 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There is evidence that COVID-19 vaccines reduce the chances of getting long covid by preventing infection and possibly by reducing the chance that an infection could progress into long covid, press reports said. Julie Washington, cleveland, 14 Oct. 2021 Both titles allowed Olivares to introduce fictional elements that helped the stories to progress within a real environment and characters. Emiliano De Pablos, Variety, 12 Oct. 2021 But Brown was unable to progress, missing all practices this past week., 10 Oct. 2021 Side-stepping potential challenges ultimately delays progress, as the digital landscape will continue to evolve alongside privacy regulations. Sergii Denysenko, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 The government will assess progress each week before allowing further relaxation of restrictions, Ms. Ardern said. Stephen Wright, WSJ, 4 Oct. 2021 As a result, the plants appear frozen in time, unable to progress. New York Times, 1 Oct. 2021 Here are five ways artists, businesses and creative agencies are leveraging technology to progress industries forward. Akash Nigam, Rolling Stone, 29 Sep. 2021 Manning intentionally uses the brand to spark conversation and as a tool to progress his supporters forward. Greg Emmanuel, Essence, 28 Sep. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Progress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

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

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something 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!