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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hollins said the utility has been transparent about the progress of repairs, routinely posting updates to social media. Washington Post, 10 Jan. 2022 Instructors can offer real-time feedback on poses for those who love a critique, and, of course, its AI skills track the daily progress of factors like flexibility and balance. Vogue, 8 Jan. 2022 State of the Union addresses allow for presidents to tout the progress of the past year and lay out their priorities for the future of the nation. Libby Cathey, ABC News, 7 Jan. 2022 Spurs coach Gregg Popovich left Boston’s TD Garden feeling good about the progress Devin Vassell has made this season. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, 6 Jan. 2022 What’s harder to predict, however, is the extent to which fear or misunderstanding will hinder the progress of innovation and improvement. Kjartan Rist, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 All of this has the attention of the Israelis, who see the Iran having nuclear weapons as a significant threat and who see the progress the Iranians are making toward a weapon. CBS News, 5 Jan. 2022 Consider the recent efforts to atone for a massacre and coup d'etat that took place in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1898 and left hundreds dead -- a brutal imposition of White political rule after the progress of Reconstruction. Peniel E. Joseph, CNN, 4 Jan. 2022 The boards are sharing information on the progress of their goodwill projects, Mr. Jones said. Mark Maurer, WSJ, 3 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Better Act, which included a one-year extension of the program, failed to progress due to opposition from Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 7 Jan. 2022 For example, a robust decarbonization program includes data monitoring of business operations and a clear plan to progress toward distinct targets. Stella Bernstein, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 Then, players have to guess the overall rankings in order to progress through a spooky cave. Eric Ravenscraft, Wired, 25 Dec. 2021 This distortion of the narrative of global vaccine equity is detrimental to progress. Azfar Hossain, STAT, 25 Dec. 2021 Reflecting on their first in-person meeting, Caleb has hope that their relationship will be able to progress going forward. Dory Jackson,, 24 Dec. 2021 Others, especially proposals for new roads, such as the beltway and even a short stub of toll road at Sanford’s airport, seem to progress in inches. Kevin Spear,, 22 Dec. 2021 Cronin said Riley’s knee has healed sufficiently but his conditioning needed to progress further. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 9 Dec. 2021 And with the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, the administration has said the effort to streamline the state’s workforce may have to progress more slowly — but will still continue. Keith Phaneuf,, 3 Dec. 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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries Near progress



progress chart

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Progress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 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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