spade·​work | \ ˈspād-ˌwərk How to pronounce spadework (audio) \

Definition of spadework

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 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 In recent decades, legal conservatives have reaped the rewards of the spadework done by this older generation of academic political philosophers. Peter Hammond Schwartz, The New Republic, 3 Feb. 2021 Intellectual spadework began in the 1940s and ’50s. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 28 Sep. 2020 First, it was meant to build on Elizabeth Warren’s reputation as an academic who does the intellectual spadework. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 9 Dec. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of spadework

1778, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of spadework was in 1778

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Dictionary Entries Near spadework

spade money



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Cite this Entry

“Spadework.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

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