make up leeway

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make up (the) leeway

struggle out of a bad position, especially by recovering lost time. British
Leeway , which dates from the mid 17th century, was the nautical term for the drift of a ship towards the side downwind of its course. The figurative use of this phrase dates from the early 19th century.
See also: make, up

make up ˈleeway

(British English) get out of a bad position that you are in, especially because you have lost a lot of time: By now, James was so far behind in the race that he knew he had little chance of making up the leeway.
See also: make, up