[noun prog-res, -ruhs or, esp. British, proh-gres; verb pruh-gres]
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  1. a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage: the progress of a student toward a degree.
  2. developmental activity in science, technology, etc., especially with reference to the commercial opportunities created thereby or to the promotion of the material well-being of the public through the goods, techniques, or facilities created.
  3. advancement in general.
  4. growth or development; continuous improvement: He shows progress in his muscular coordination.
  5. the development of an individual or society in a direction considered more beneficial than and superior to the previous level.
  6. Biology. increasing differentiation and perfection in the course of ontogeny or phylogeny.
  7. forward or onward movement: the progress of the planets.
  8. the forward course of action, events, time, etc.
  9. an official journey or tour, as by a sovereign or dignitary.
verb (used without object) pro·gress [pruh-gres] /prəˈgrɛs/
  1. 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.
  2. to grow or develop, as in complexity, scope, or severity; advance: Are you progressing in your piano studies? The disease progressed slowly.
  1. 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

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Antonyms for progress Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for progressing

Contemporary Examples of progressing

Historical Examples of progressing

  • "He is progressing splendidly, Doctor," Professor Maxon had said.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • But Alice, progressing with her toilet, appeared to be little concerned.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • Tremont looked at the slowly progressing constellations and cursed himself.

    Satellite System

    Horace Brown Fyfe

  • Things were progressing after this sort when King Pausanias intervened.



  • It may be that not all souls are fallen, but that some are merely in process of progressing to sight.

    The Prodigal Returns

    Lilian Staveley

British Dictionary definitions for progressing


noun (ˈprəʊɡrɛs)
  1. movement forwards, esp towards a place or objective
  2. satisfactory development, growth, or advanceshe is making progress in maths
  3. advance towards completion, maturity, or perfectionthe steady onward march of progress
  4. (modifier) of or relating to progressa progress report
  5. biology increasing complexity, adaptation, etc, during the development of an individual or evolution of a group
  6. British a stately royal journey
  7. in progress taking place; under way
verb (prəˈɡrɛs)
  1. (intr) to move forwards or onwards, as towards a place or objective
  2. 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 progressing



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 progressing


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.