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

When Netanyahu called for activists to be allowed to film polling stations in Arab districts — alleging fraud without providing any evidence — Gantz charged him with laying the groundwork for rejecting the election results. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Ex-army chief hoping to be Israel’s next premier," 15 Sep. 2019 President Trump left the agreement in 2017, laying the groundwork for the Trump administration's environmental deregulation policies. Chris Gavin, Kelsey Micklas, CBS News, "5 things to know about climate change," 15 Sep. 2019 But that is very different from later stages, when investigators are trying to lay the groundwork for a suit — and won’t want to show their hand to a potential corporate defendant., "Congress showed the breadth of its investigation into the big tech companies Friday, making a public demand for scores of documents, including the personal emails and other communications from dozens of top executives.," 14 Sep. 2019 The awards range from $11,000 to $50,000 and are being provided to 26 cities, community development corporations and other civic groups to help them lay groundwork for future tree planting. Courtney Astolfi,, "Cuyahoga County awards nearly $1 million to cities, civic groups in County Executive Budish’s tree canopy restoration plan," 11 Sep. 2019 The companies turned their attention away from lobbying against the bill in the Legislature in favor of laying the groundwork for a deal. New York Times, "California Labor Bill, Near Passage, Is Blow to Uber and Lyft," 9 Sep. 2019 The current dynamic dates back to 2010, when Karl Rove wrote a Wall Street Journal column laying the groundwork for what came to be called the Redistricting Majority Project (REDMAP). Philip Elliott, Time, "How State Races Starting This Fall Will Shape Congress for the Next Decade," 5 Sep. 2019 Nearly two decades ago, state Rep. Helen Giddings and state Sen. Royce West helped lay the groundwork for a new four-year university in the heart of southern Dallas. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, "‘It allows us to dream big:’ The fastest-growing college in Texas fills a gap by focusing on homegrown students," 26 Aug. 2019 For the past week, Trump has been laying the groundwork for what could become a combative G-7. Anchorage Daily News, "With the global economy slowing and the U.S.-China trade war escalating, Trump arrives at G-7 with a list of grievances," 24 Aug. 2019

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

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for groundwork

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).


ancient or antiquated

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