Is it on-going or ongoing?

The required spelling here is ‘ongoing’. It means ‘progressing’, ‘continuing’ or ‘evolving’.

We often see phrases like:

  • This is an ongoing project.
  • It was an ongoing problem.
  • The ongoing issue cannot be resolved easily.

More often, though, text is peppered with inconsistent use: ‘ongoing’ this and ‘on-going’ that.

This word never has been hyphenated, but people think that it is a mix of ‘on’ and ‘going’. However, if you think of someone ‘going on about grammar’, you would not say that that person was ‘ongoing’!

You can see that this is not a hyphenated compound at all. It’s always been all one word.