Is it under way or underway?

Both of these expressions exist in British English. They do, however, have different meanings.

Under way

This is used to mean that something is happening/going ahead.


  • The project is now under way.
  • It was not long before their journey was under way.
  • They were under way in less than three hours.


This is an adjective (or describing word), meaning ‘occurring while in motion’.


  • We are going to try underway refuelling.