Moving Forward: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
July 13, 2023

The phrase "moving forward" means progressing toward the future and advancing in a positive direction. When you move forward, you are taking steps toward future goals or a successful outcome.

In short:

"Moving forward" means to proceed or progress in a positive direction.

What Does "Moving Forward" Mean?

In a general sense, "moving forward" means focusing your efforts on future progress rather than past events. It is the opposite of remaining stagnant or being stuck in the past. The phrase conveys advancement, growth, improvement, and a willingness to take things to the next level.  For example, "Despite the setbacks, the team is committed to moving forward with the project."

  • It often conveys a sense of progression or advancement in terms of time, order, or quality.
  • The phrase can denote a positive change, improvement, or development.
  • It usually indicates a future-oriented perspective.
  • Though more relevant in professional settings, you may use it in everyday conversations.

Where Does "Moving Forward" Come From?

The phrase "moving forward" originates from the literal meaning of moving in a forward direction. Eventually, it has taken on a figurative sense and is now widely used to signify progress or advancement in various fields and contexts, including business, education, and personal development.

Historical Usage

"Until the wise and good of every nation shall be seen moving forward hand in hand together for the moral renovation of the world."

- American Quarterly Temperance Magazine, 1833

10 Examples of "Moving Forward" in Sentences

To understand the idiom's usage, let's consider its application in different contexts:

  • Moving forward, let's err on the side of caution to avoid any unnecessary risks.
  • We are making good progress and moving forward. We should focus on maintaining our momentum.
  • As you make decisions, remember to move forward and don't do anything I wouldn't do.
  • I believe that moving forward, we need to prioritize our health and wellness.
  • Good on you for embracing change and moving forward with a positive attitude.
  • Moving forward, the company plans to invest more in renewable energy sources.
  • Moving forward, we will not tolerate any forms of harassment in the workplace.
  • We must toe the line while moving forward as a team to ensure success.
  • It's been a challenging quarter. However, moving forward, we are confident about overcoming these hurdles.
  • With that issue behind us, we can say good riddance and focus on moving forward.

Examples of "Moving Forward" in Pop Culture

The idiom "moving forward" is also prevalent in pop culture:

  • "Moving Forward" is a song by contemporary gospel artist Hezekiah Walker.
  • "Moving Forward" is a popular book by Dave Pelzer, focused on self-improvement and personal development.
  • "Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America" by Karine Jean-Pierre is a 2019 memoir and political manifesto that chronicles the author’s journey as a Haitian immigrant.

Other/Different Ways to Say "Moving Forward"

There are several phrases that can be used as alternatives to "moving forward," depending on the context:

  • Going forward
  • From now on
  • In the future
  • From here on out
  • Looking ahead
  • Hereafter
  • As we continue
  • From this point forward
  • As we proceed
  • Henceforth

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Moving Forward":

  • What is the meaning of "moving forward"?

"Moving forward" typically means progressing or advancing in a positive direction or looking ahead to the future.

  • What is the origin of the phrase "moving forward"?

The phrase "moving forward" derives from the literal meaning of progressing in a forward direction. It has evolved to mean advancing or making progress in various contexts.

  • Can "moving forward" have negative connotations?

Generally, "moving forward" has positive connotations, indicating progress or advancement. However, depending on the context, it can sometimes imply a need for change due to past failures or shortcomings.

  • Is "moving forward" used more in formal or informal contexts?

"Moving forward" is commonly used in both formal and informal contexts. It's especially prevalent in professional settings, like business meetings and presentations, but is also understood and used in everyday conversations.

  • What are some alternative phrases for "moving forward"?

Alternative phrases for "moving forward" could include "going forward," "from now on," "in the future," "from this point forward," among others, depending on the context.

  • Is "moving forward" a British or American idiom?

"Moving forward" is a universal phrase used in English-speaking regions worldwide, including both British and American English.

  • Is the phrase "moving forward" common in everyday conversation?

Yes, "moving forward" is frequently used in everyday conversation, especially when discussing plans or strategies for the future.

  • Does "moving forward" always refer to future situations?

Yes, "moving forward" typically refers to future situations or plans. It suggests a progression or advancement from the current point in time.

  • Can I use it to describe past events?

No, "moving forward" is not typically used to describe past events. The phrase is usually used to discuss future actions, plans, or situations.

  • Can I use "moving forward" in a literal sense?

Yes, "moving forward" can be used in a literal sense to describe physical movement in a forward direction. However, it's more commonly used in a figurative sense to refer to progress or advancement.

Final Thoughts About "Moving Forward"

The expression "moving forward" encapsulates the idea of progress, advancement, and future-focused thinking. It's a phrase that motivates and invites action, often used to suggest a positive and productive approach toward achieving objectives or overcoming challenges.

Here's a quick recap:

  • "Moving forward" is a universally understood phrase that signifies progress or looking toward the future.
  • This phrase fits a wide variety of contexts, making it a versatile addition to both professional and informal conversations.
  • For a change of pace, try using synonyms like "going forward," "from now on," or "hereafter" to keep your language fresh and engaging.

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