See also: under way


Etymology 1Edit

Calque of Dutch onderweg (underway), equivalent to under- +‎ way.

Alternative formsEdit


  • IPA(key): /ʌndə(ɹ)ˈweɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪ


underway (comparative more underway, superlative most underway)

  1. In motion, in progress; being done or carried out; on a journey.
    • 2008 February 14, Lohr, Steve, “Offshore Outsourcing’s Next Wave: How High?”, in NY Times[1], retrieved 2012-01-22:
      The next wave, well underway, is shipping back-office business tasks overseas, ...
    • 2018 April 7, Dickinson, Andrew, “In New Hampshire, the 2020 presidential race is already well underway”, in NBC News[2], retrieved 2018-09-20:
      The political world might still be recovering from the 2016 presidential election and focusing now on the midterm fights for Congress, but here in the nation's first primary state the battle for 2020 is already well underway.

Etymology 2Edit

under +‎ way



underway (plural underways)

  1. A road, track, path, or street for going under another way or obstacle; an underpass.
    • 2005, Donovan L. Hofsommer, “Adrift”, in Minneapolis and the Age of Railways[3], Univ. of Minnesota Press, →ISBN, page 152:
      As Minneapolis grew, the city demanded that M&StL construct "underways" beneath city roadways.
  2. An underground passage, subway, tunnel.
    • 2004, Alan Goldfein, “A Wonderful Drive”, in Europe's Macadam, America's Tar: How America Really Compares to "Old Europe"[4], American Editions, →ISBN, page 46:
      There are in fact many such subterranean underways in Germany, speeding traffic beneath bergs, burgs and villages and into and around and under big city downtowns ...
  3. A voyage, especially underwater.
    • 2008, Alfred Scott McLaren, William R. Anderson, “To Severnaya Zemlya and the Beginning of the Shelf Survey”, in Unknown Waters: A First-Hand Account of the Historic Under-ice Survey of the Siberian Continental Shelf by USS Queenfish (SSN-651)[5], Univ. of Alabama Press, →ISBN, page 179:
      I had been the diving officer on three previous submarines, …, and was an experienced officer of the deck with many underways and landings under my belt on all three.