Definition of under way in English:

under way

(also underway)

adverb

  • 1Having started and in progress; being done or carried out.

    ‘recruitment is well under way’
    • ‘In California, there's an initiative under way to amend the state constitution.’
    • ‘Tonight, a manhunt is under way in West Virginia.’
    • ‘Final preparations for the evening's festivities were under way.’
    • ‘Discussions are still underway between the unions and those two employers.’
    • ‘A turnaround now seems to be well under way.’
    • ‘An FBI investigation into the security breach is underway, but has yet to result in any arrests.’
    • ‘An influx of gold miners to Omeo was under way in 1852.’
    • ‘With the Cold War now well under way, nuclear-weapons development became a high national priority.’
    • ‘By October 1766, the work was well under way.’
    • ‘The project is already underway, with work due to be completed by early next year.’
    • ‘The doctors' surgery will house five GPs, and moves are underway to recruit a sixth.’
    • ‘Work on the realization of the project is under way.’
    • ‘An effort is now under way to establish a methodical breeding program in the hope of creating a healthy captive population.’
    • ‘A massive cleanup effort is under way along much of the East Coast.’
    • ‘The final phase in the development of the historic Gravesend town pier is underway.’
    • ‘At one end of this area, a massive building project has been underway for the best part of 20 years.’
    • ‘At the time of this writing, the DNA analysis of the hairs we collected is still under way.’
    • ‘Congress initially provided $500,000, and work slowly got under way.’
    • ‘Last year, his diocese had $50 million worth of projects under way.’
    • ‘Planning is already under way for next year's Summer Exhibition.’
    in progress, under way, going on, continuing, happening, occurring, taking place, proceeding, being done, being worked on, being performed, current, extant, existing, existent, progressing, advancing, evolving, growing, developing
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  • 2(of a boat) moving through the water.

    ‘no time was lost in getting under way’
    • ‘There were no guard rails, so working on the decks while underway must have been hazardous.’
    • ‘By the time the ship got underway at midnight, the cruise had been canceled entirely.’
    • ‘One of the most dangerous operations is to board a ship underway.’
    • ‘This ship sank while underway, and now rests on its starboard side.’
    • ‘You'll have plenty of time to prove yourself to the crew once we get under way.’
    • ‘It feels great to get under a hot shower and snuggle in my cozy cabin as the large vessel gets underway.’
    moving, on the move, going, travelling, not at rest, running, functioning, operational
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 18th century (as a nautical term): from Dutch onderweg.

Pronunciation

under way

/ˌʌndə ˈweɪ/