spadework

noun

spade·​work ˈspād-ˌwərk How to pronounce spadework (audio)
1
: work done with a spade
2
: the hard plain preliminary drudgery in an undertaking

Examples of spadework in a Sentence

She had her assistants do the spadework in preparation for the trial.
Recent Examples on the Web In this peacemaking effort, the United States would have to do almost all the spadework. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Mar. 2024 Indeed, many diplomatic agreements are the product of several administrations, with one president benefiting from the spadework of predecessors. Peter Baker, New York Times, 10 Apr. 2023 But the day-to-day spadework is already underway. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 May 2021 Early spadework for the new batch of projects also dates back to the City of Cleveland’s 2004 Waterfront District Plan. Steven Litt, cleveland, 26 Feb. 2022 This was Biden’s third such visit to a House battleground in eight days, as the White House has married the president’s summer sales pitch for his infrastructure plans in Congress to Democrats’ political spadework ahead of the 2022 election. Eli Stokols Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2021 The rationale was that this laborious spadework brought loamy topsoil down to subsoil level to promote deep rooting, relieved soil compaction and allowed the gardener to improve both sandy and clay soils by adding compost. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 14 July 2021 It’s vital political spadework ahead of next year’s midterm elections, which traditionally favor the party out of the White House. Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2021 That spadework laid the groundwork for the current suit. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, 3 Feb. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spadework.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1778, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spadework was in 1778

Dictionary Entries Near spadework

Cite this Entry

“Spadework.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spadework. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

spadework

noun
spade·​work ˈspād-ˌwərk How to pronounce spadework (audio)
1
: work done with the spade
2
: the hard plain work that must be done at the beginning of a project

More from Merriam-Webster on spadework

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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