Meaning of "get under way"

Hello everybody!
There is a sentence like this in one of my books:
" Will the concert start soon? - It should get under way any minute now."
I’ve known that “get under way” means to start, to set off.
But why in this sentence, it’s accompanied with “any minute”. It seems to be unsuitable. What do you think about it?

It’s quite a common phrase; a colloquial expression for saying ‘The concert shall commence very soon’.

Hi sophie,

Your sentence is fine.
any minute/moment(now)=momently.

Hi Pamela

I doubt that you would find many Americans using ‘momently’, and if you did, it would probably be fairly literary.

In AmE, we frequently use ‘momentarily’ to mean ‘very soon’ – especially in spoken English.


in BrE “any minute now” may be said without now. Also in BrE momentarily strikes me as old fashioned as well.

Hi Stew

What about ‘momently’ in BE? I don’t think I’ve ever actually heard anyone use that word over here.

I see, Amy…

Hi Amy

You are right as ever, momently is a new coinage.


‘Momentarily’ to me means for the moment in the sense of ‘not for long’ as in: She was momentarily lost for words when they gave her first prize.


Firstly, thank you everybody for answering my question.
In my dictionary, “momentarily” have both meanings: “not for long” and “very soon”. What do you think about it?

‘Momentarily’ is also used that way here in the US. Basically, it would be the context that determines which meaning is intended.

Interestingly, “momently” and “momentarily” both date from the 17th century; the latter’s sense of “instantly” is obsolete in BrE, but may well return under pressure from AmE.


Hi Sophie
Not all “usage experts” agree that using momentarily to mean ‘very soon’ is “acceptable” in formal written English. Some do, some don’t.

That’s an interesting little tidbit of information, MrP.

The following site lists ‘momentarily’ as an example of a difference between BE and AmE. Interestingly, the entry comes directly after ‘molly-coddled’. :lol:

Hello Amy,

Yes, “momentarily” is recognised as AmE over here. (For a BrE unfamiliar with the usage, it can be disconcerting to be told by a switchboard operator that they’ll connect you momentarily.)

“Molly-coddling” on the other hand is an all too common phenomenon.