make headway
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British pronunciation/mˌeɪk hˈɛdweɪ/
American pronunciation/mˌeɪk hˈɛdweɪ/
01

to advance and make great progress in one's career or life

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to [make] headway definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "make headway" and when to use it?

The phrase "make headway" comes from the language of ships and sailing. In this context, "headway" means the forward motion of a ship through the water. When a ship is making headway, it is moving forward, making progress towards its destination. The phrase has since been adopted more broadly to describe progress or forward movement in any endeavor. It implies that progress is slow but steady, and that persistence and determination are required to achieve the desired outcome.

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