Move Forward: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
May 25, 2023

The idiom "move forward" implies the action of progressing, advancing, or proceeding in a forward direction or manner. It signifies leaving behind past events, circumstances, or failures and continuing to progress toward one's goals.

In short:

"Move forward" signifies the act of progressing or advancing, particularly beyond difficulties or setbacks.

What Does "Move Forward" Mean?

The idiom "move forward" conveys the act of progressing, advancing, or taking steps towards a future state or goal, often despite past mistakes or challenges. It's a testament to human resilience and the ability to overcome obstacles.

Key aspects of the idiom's meaning include:

  • Indicates progress or advancement, often after overcoming adversity
  • Associated with personal growth, goal-setting, and self-improvement
  • Conveys a sense of optimism and resilience

Where Does "Move Forward" Come From?

The phrase "move forward" is thought to have originated in the early 1800s. It is a combination of the words "move" and "forward," which both have a long history of use in the English language. The word "move" has been used to mean "to change position" since the 13th century. On the other hand, "forward" comes from Old English "forewearde," which means "toward the front, in front; toward the future; at the beginning.

Historical Example

"As I shall move forward, whether in the winter or the spring  I can inquire and ascertain more fully the sentiments of the people..."

- The Dispatches of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington, 1837

10 Examples of "Move Forward" in Sentences

Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:

  • As the old saying goes, 'This too shall pass,' and even in the darkest times, we must move forward.
  • Moving forward, we should prioritize our health and well-being over work.
  • I feel you, and together we will find a way to move forward through this challenge.
  • She encouraged him to move forward despite the setback in his career.
  • Feelings change, and people fall out of love, but I'm determined to move forward.
  • Love is blind, so we must move forward carefully in a new relationship.
  • After the loss, the team vowed to move forward and train harder.
  • They agreed to move forward together and overcome their differences.
  • The gag gift was amusing, but now let's move forward to discuss more serious matters.
  • After his recovery, he was eager to move forward and live life to the fullest.

Examples of "Move Forward" in Pop Culture

The saying has found its place in diverse pop culture expressions, from cinema and books to tunes.

Some notable examples include:

  • The 2018 song "Move Forward" by Kevin McLeod talks about advancing despite life's trials.
  • "Move Forward" is the title of the first volume of the graphic novel The Flash from DC Comics.

Other/Different Ways to Say "Move Forward"

There are several other ways to express the meaning of the phrase in English.

These alternative phrases include:

  • Proceed onwards
  • Advance forward
  • Progress further
  • Press ahead
  • Keep going

You can use these alternatives interchangeably depending on the context and the intended depth of progression or resilience.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Move Forward"

  • What does "move forward" mean?

"Move forward" signifies the act of progressing or advancing, particularly beyond difficulties or setbacks.

  • How can I use "move forward" in a sentence?

The idiom "move forward" can be used to express resilience, progression, or a sense of advancement, for instance: "Despite the failure of their initial plans, the team decided to move forward with renewed vigor."

  • Where does the idiom "move forward" come from?

"Move forward" originates from the basic action of physical forward movement. Metaphorically, it embodies human resilience and progress.

  • Is the phrase "move forward" used worldwide?

Yes, the phrase "move forward" is widely used across English-speaking countries to symbolize progression and resilience.

  • Can you use it in a negative context?

Typically, "move forward" is used in a positive or neutral context, referring to progress or advancement. However, it could be used negatively if moving forward implies disregarding important aspects or issues.

  • Are there any famous quotes or songs that use the phrase "move forward"?

Yes, the phrase "move forward" is commonly used in quotes, songs, books, and films to convey the concept of progress and resilience. For instance, it's featured in Bethel Music's song "Move Forward".

  • Is the idiom "move forward" still relevant today?

Yes, the phrase "move forward" remains relevant and widely used today, symbolizing resilience, progress, and the importance of overcoming challenges.

  • Is it okay to use the phrase in a professional setting?

Yes, "move forward" is appropriate in both professional and personal contexts, often used to indicate progress, plans, or future actions.

  • Does "move forward" only apply to individuals?

No, "move forward" can be applied to individuals, groups, or entities, including businesses, governments, or society at

large, symbolizing advancement or progress.

  • What are the possible implications when someone uses the idiom "move forward"?

When someone uses the idiom "move forward," they might be suggesting a desire or need for progress or resilience, overcoming challenges, or advancing towards future goals or actions. This could imply strength, determination, or a forward-thinking attitude.

Final Thoughts About "Move Forward"

The idiom "move forward" reflects the human tendency to strive for progress, advancement, and resilience. It suggests a desire or intent to overcome obstacles or challenges, moving beyond the past and toward the future.

Key aspects of the phrase:

  • Emphasizes progression and resilience
  • Represents a proactive and forward-thinking attitude
  • This may imply determination, ambition, or a solution-oriented approach

Remember that the idiom serves as a reminder of the power of progress and resilience. It's a nod to human strength, tenacity, and the relentless drive to overcome, grow, and advance.

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