at the outset

Idioms & Phrases

at the outset

Also, from the outset. At the start, from the start. For example, He wanted to explain his position from the outset, but there wasn't time, or At the outset the problem seemed simple, but then it became quite complicated. The noun outset is rarely heard today except in these phrases. [Mid-1700s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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