1. forward movement; progress in a forward direction: The ship’s headway was slowed by the storm.
  2. progress in general: headway in a career.
  3. rate of progress: a slight headway against concerted opposition.
  4. the time interval or distance between two vehicles, as automobiles, ships, or railroad or subway cars, traveling in the same direction over the same route.
  1. make headway, to proceed forward; advance; progress.


  1. headroom(def 2).


  1. motion in a forward directionthe vessel made no headway
  2. progress or rate of progresshe made no headway with the problem
  3. another name for headroom
  4. the distance or time between consecutive trains, buses, etc, on the same route

c.1300, “main road, highway,” from Old English heafodweg (see head (adj.) + way). Sense of “motion forward” first attested 1748, short for ahead-way; ultimately nautical (cf. leeway).

see make headway.

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