[noun prog-res, -ruhs or, esp. British, proh-gres; verb pruh-gres]


verb (used without object) pro·gress [pruh-gres] /prəˈgrɛs/

to go forward or onward in space or time: The wagon train progressed through the valley. As the play progressed, the leading man grew more inaudible.
to grow or develop, as in complexity, scope, or severity; advance: Are you progressing in your piano studies? The disease progressed slowly.


    in progress, going on; under way; being done; happening: The meeting was already in progress.

Origin of progress

1400–50; late Middle English progresse (noun) < Latin prōgressus a going forward, equivalent to prōgred-, stem of prōgredī to advance (prō- pro-1 + -gredī, combining form of gradī to step; see grade) + -tus suffix of v. action
Related formsun·pro·gressed, adjective

Synonyms for progress

Antonyms for progress Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for progress

Contemporary Examples of progress

Historical Examples of progress

  • If one were not a scientist one might be tempted to say there is no progress.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Prehistoric man, as I just told you, was on a fair way to progress.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • From this point the progress will be best narrated by extracts from my Diary.

  • We talked of progress; but progress, like the philosopher's stone, could not be easily attained.

  • From this strength we have contributed to the recovery and progress of the world.

British Dictionary definitions for progress


noun (ˈprəʊɡrɛs)

movement forwards, esp towards a place or objective
satisfactory development, growth, or advanceshe is making progress in maths
advance towards completion, maturity, or perfectionthe steady onward march of progress
(modifier) of or relating to progressa progress report
biology increasing complexity, adaptation, etc, during the development of an individual or evolution of a group
British a stately royal journey
in progress taking place; under way

verb (prəˈɡrɛs)

(intr) to move forwards or onwards, as towards a place or objective
to move towards or bring nearer to completion, maturity, or perfection

Word Origin for progress

C15: from Latin prōgressus a going forwards, from prōgredī to advance, from pro- 1 + gradī to step
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for progress

late 14c., "a going on, action of walking forward," from Old French progres (Modern French progrès), from Latin progressus "a going forward," from past participle of progredi (see progression).

In early use in English especially "a state journey by royalty." Figurative sense of "growth, development, advancement to higher stages" is from c.1600. To be in progress "underway" is attested by 1849. Progress report attested by 1865.


1590s in the literal sense; c.1600 in the figurative sense, from progress (n.). OED says the verb was obsolete in English 18c. but was reformed or retained in America and subsequently long regarded in Britain as an Americanism. Related: Progressed; progressing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with progress


see in progress.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.