ground·​work | \ ˈgrau̇nd-ˌwərk How to pronounce groundwork (audio) \

Definition of groundwork

: foundation, basis laid the groundwork for a new program also : preparation made beforehand the groundwork was done before the winter tour — Susan Reiter

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Examples of groundwork in a Sentence

they had collectively laid the groundwork for a new kind of art

Recent Examples on the Web

These chargers are owned by Volkswagen, which is laying the groundwork for its own onslaught of electric vehicles. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards," 16 Apr. 2019 Google has been laying groundwork to return to the Chinese search market for more than a year, according to Gallagher. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Report: Google is preparing to cave to Chinese search censorship," 1 Aug. 2018 Justice Department alums fear the president is laying groundwork to fire the attorney general, deputy attorney general or special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in an effort to end investigations that might affect him personally. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "As Trump threatens to get more involved at Justice Department, its alums push back," 26 Apr. 2018 In pure Marvel-esque fashion, Disney appears to be laying the groundwork for Kenobi-centric stories in the future. Adam Schubak, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'," 12 Apr. 2019 Purdue Pharma LP has forged the first deal to resolve more than 1,600 lawsuits blaming the OxyContin maker for fueling the opioid crisis, a move that could lay the groundwork for the resolution of the rest of the litigation. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "Purdue Pharma Begins Resolution of Opioid Cases With $270 Million Deal," 26 Mar. 2019 Securing the Solomons would protect halt Japan’s southern advance towards Australia and New Zealand while setting the groundwork for the beginning of a counteroffensive to push the Japanese all the way back to the Japanese home islands. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Explorers Have Found the Wreckage of the Sunken World War II Aircraft Carrier USS Wasp," 14 Mar. 2019 But as of Monday, staff reductions caused by the shutdown hit Mr. Trump’s trade office, hurting it at a time when the administration is setting the groundwork for some negotiations and continuing critical talks with China. Vivian Salama And William Mauldin, WSJ, "Grassley Sees Shutdown Delaying Major Trade Talks," 17 Jan. 2019 Trump's tweets came as Kim and Moon wrapped up a landmark summit that could set the groundwork for possible talks between Trump and the North's leader. John Wagner,, "Trump touts 'historic' meeting between Korean leaders but says 'only time will tell' where it leads," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'groundwork.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of groundwork

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for groundwork

Last Updated

2 May 2019

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The first known use of groundwork was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for groundwork



English Language Learners Definition of groundwork

: something that is done at an early stage and that makes later work or progress possible


ground·​work | \ ˈgrau̇nd-ˌwərk How to pronounce groundwork (audio) \

Kids Definition of groundwork

: something upon which further work or progress is based

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More from Merriam-Webster on groundwork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with groundwork

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for groundwork

Spanish Central: Translation of groundwork

Nglish: Translation of groundwork for Spanish Speakers

Comments on groundwork

What made you want to look up groundwork? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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