Definition of onward in US English:


(British onwards)


  • 1In a continuing forward direction; ahead.

    ‘she stumbled onward’
    • ‘Letting go of his weapon, the momentum carried him onwards and he hit the ground, sinking into a forward roll before smoothly regaining his feet.’
    • ‘When all was still and silent, she continued onwards despite her weariness and the bitter cold.’
    • ‘Set one foot, then, in front of the other, and take no moment to look back, but continue - onward.’
    • ‘They continued onwards, drawing ever closer to the jagged black peaks ahead.’
    • ‘Today I went back and read chapters 2 and 3, and will likely spend most of the rest of the day continuing onward.’
    • ‘We continued onward among the fields, brown at this time of year.’
    • ‘Mindful of the miles ahead, I pushed onwards and upwards into Dalby Forest.’
    • ‘They continued onwards, until they could see a large building ahead of them.’
    • ‘This somewhat fazed him but he continued onwards.’
    • ‘He continued onwards, leaving the smoke behind, and after two hours he stopped at a triangle of succulent trees.’
    • ‘After standing and watching a while, we continue onwards, and climb up this sandy cliff wall, up and out of the crater.’
    • ‘It is picking yourself up when you stumble and continuing onward.’
    • ‘Roberts noticed the tracers streaming upward, but was able to continue onward and land at Hickam even though his left wing was streaming gasoline.’
    • ‘She closed her eyes as the carriage continued onwards into the late night.’
    • ‘The journey continued onwards without much more being spoken as William soon slipped into a deep sleep induced by the claret.’
    • ‘Next I looked at a dry passage where a climb out of the streamway led to a small chamber with a passage continuing onwards.’
    • ‘He didn't even look back at her, but continued onward.’
    • ‘One round from this could obliterate half the head of anyone of you and still have enough forward motion to continue onward for another 50 feet.’
    • ‘We continued onwards, running from one piece of cover to the next while the machine gun chewed through belts of ammunition.’
    • ‘Normally, the ball would have been transferred onwards but this most industrious of players, saw a gap ahead and ploughed onwards, all the way to the line.’
    ahead, forwards, onwards, onward, on, further
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    1. 1.1 Forward in time.
      ‘the period from 1969 onward’
      • ‘Republicans would say they pushed back in '69 and then pushed forward from 1981 onwards.’
      • ‘Tickets can be purchased from the end of November onwards.’
      • ‘And from the French revolution onwards, Leftists everywhere have always been a violent and aggressive lot.’
      • ‘From the age of sixty onwards, grandfather lost interest in most things that were not related to bee-keeping and the planting of trees.’
      • ‘From 1988 onwards the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education Dehradun has been in charge of the museum.’
      • ‘This was in the early part of the 20th century, and from the fifties onwards that land became filled up with community facilities.’
      • ‘The response is generally higher from St. Patrick's Day onwards.’
      • ‘From 1887 onward political associations and societies burst forth all over Spain.’
      • ‘Consequently from 1959 onwards Menzies again had a Senate majority.’
      • ‘They are offering a one-time increase of 8.5 per cent from July onwards.’
      • ‘Because from today onwards I will not leave comments on other people's blogs unless it is using my authenticated blogger account.’
      • ‘From the 2012 bid process onwards, the host city chosen to host the Olympic Games will be obliged to also host the Paralympics.’
      • ‘Under principal Mr Ed Boyd, communications technology takes off and becomes a major focus from 1992 onwards.’
      • ‘All the groundwork that had been laid from the late '50s onwards seemed to be synthesized by Thomson's magnum opus.’
      • ‘From 1969 onward he was associated with the Navy's acquisitions from the Soviet Union.’
      • ‘The arts and crafts must be submitted on the previous day and the mart will be open from 2 o'clock onwards on Saturday to accept these.’
      • ‘In women who are at higher risk, one's doctor may advocate mammographic surveillance usually from age 35 onwards.’
      • ‘On Tuesday the 22nd of June, there is Music in the Sciobol from 6pm onwards.’
      • ‘From 4.20 pm onwards the workshop will include Quickstep, Foxtrot, Jive and Old Time Dances.’
      • ‘Reports flooded in from 1999 onwards from the East and West Coast.’
      onward, onwards, on, forth, forwards
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    2. 1.2 So as to make progress or become more successful.
      ‘the business moved onward and upward’
      • ‘I apologize, maybe one day I'll fix them, but until then: onward and upward!’
      • ‘After their initial success, they found it difficult to move onwards and upwards, and eventually the band disintegrated.’
      • ‘When I think about what my grandparents went through, I have to succeed, to press onward and upward.’
      • ‘It was that same unquenchable thirst for knowledge which had propelled Mecha out of the night of an earlier, smaller existence onward and upward to a brighter future.’
      • ‘But I'm an optimist and I can see how much progress has been made in the past 25 years so I'm hoping we can continue to move onward and upward.’
      • ‘On the back of rising productivity, more routes and better service they would be delivering it - driving the share price onward and upward to their own enrichment.’
      • ‘The word to me implies a journey that is onward and upward.’
      • ‘So, my life at this point seems to be heading onward and upward, and for once, I know where I'm going.’
      • ‘I've now mastered most of what makes my job challenging, but I have no ambition to move onward and upward into anything more managerial or corporate.’
      • ‘Professors should be Platonic Buffalo Bills, herding students onward and upward.’
      • ‘Here in York, Lauren Hood and Nick Holbek cherish hopes of progressing to stage school and onwards into profession.’
      • ‘Sometimes it is naive to assume that the march is onward and upward.’
      • ‘Martin added the conversions and a drop goal to send Tigers onward and upward to winning everything they have entered this unbeaten season.’
      • ‘From our viewpoint, we must put a disappointing weekend behind us and hopefully from now on it will be onward and upward.’
      • ‘She could give up and stay at home on benefits or move onward and upward.’
      • ‘He changed his name to John Top-Gear by deed poll but the results didn't come so he moved onward and upward again.’
      • ‘I've been progressing fitfully, onwards and upwards through September, both physically and spiritually.’
      • ‘But the change, which has to do with the existence of a group with a similar name, does indicate a move onward and upward, so power to the group formerly known as Treason.’
      • ‘When he loses hope of successfully executing his grand design, she pushes him onward because she now has a stake in the painting, too.’
      • ‘I've also noticed that in a business where many practitioners are looking to move onward and upward, people on the editorial pages usually seem to have arrived.’


  • Going further rather than coming to an end or halt; moving forward.

    figurative ‘the onward march of history’
    ‘oil was pumped to a port for onward shipment’
    • ‘The actor now vows to be more selective and cautious in his onward journey.’
    • ‘Few will feel the pressure more than the two quarterbacks charged with securing safe onward passage.’
    • ‘Leaders from African countries flew into Prestwick airport at Ayrshire in the morning for an onward journey to Gleneagles, in contrast with the transport chaos in London.’
    • ‘Is this a good or a bad thing, the onward march of English?’
    • ‘He said vegetables like carrot and tomato would be packed and processed in the plant for onward shipment to international market.’
    • ‘It was waiting for the onward journey with the train - in a locker.’
    • ‘During the onward journey to Hong Kong, many players fell ill due to the rough weather.’
    • ‘The goal is to whisk containers away from the congested port areas to inland yards, where they can be sorted for their onward journeys.’
    • ‘Is the will so powerful as to counter the onward march of something inevitable?’
    • ‘The trip begins by coach from local pick-up points to Harwich for the ferry crossing to the Hook of Holland and the onward journey to Amsterdam.’
    • ‘Nothing could stop the onward march of history.’
    • ‘In this case, the philosophy is that gadgets are cool and a positive sign of the onward march of civilization.’
    • ‘Several airports closed, leaving crews and jets out of position for onward journeys.’
    • ‘Who will face the onward march of science in its full cry?’
    • ‘The Delphin, which docked in Cape Town yesterday, will set sail from Port Elizabeth and spend a day here before her onward journey to Durban.’
    • ‘Networks of overseas Chinese, many from Fuji, organise the onward passage, often through Guatemala and Mexico to the USA.’
    • ‘The riders will enjoy a breakfast provided by Pendle Council before they are bidden a safe onward journey to Ingleton.’
    • ‘The deepest water was thigh deep, but we eventually came to a point where a mini rapids over some boulders and a couple fallen tree branches blocked the onward journey.’
    • ‘Silly me, nothing must get in the way of the onward march of gadgetry or, in this case, the conversion of the car into a wheeled replica of the home.’
    • ‘They were transferred to another ambulance for the onward journey.’
    moving forwards, moving ahead, onward, advancing, progressing, progressive
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