[ uhn-der-wey for 1; uhn-der-wey for 2 ]
/ ˈʌn dərˌweɪ for 1; ˈʌn dərˈweɪ for 2 /
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Definition of underway

occurring while under way: the underway activities on a cruise ship.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of underway

1735–45; adj. use of the adverbial phrase under way;see way1

Other definitions for underway (2 of 2)

under way

adjective, adverb
Also underway. (of a ship) no longer in port, at anchor, etc.; moving.
no longer at rest, stationary, etc.; in motion; traveling: We'll put our bags in the car and be under way.
proceeding; in progress: Plans are under way to sell the company.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use underway in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for underway

under way

adjective (postpositive)
in progress; in operationthe show was under way
nautical in motion
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with underway

under way


In motion, as in The ship got under way at noon. [c. 1930]


Already started, in progress, as in Plans are under way to expand. [c. 1930]

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