13 Essential Literary Terms


[ground-wurk] /ˈgraʊndˌwɜrk/
foundation or basis:
He laid the groundwork for an international conference.
1540-50; ground1 + work Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for groundwork
  • Penance, charity, and humility he laid down for the groundwork and basis of his rule.
  • In other words, these areas may not have had the functions they do in modern humans, but the changes were laying the groundwork.
  • However, laying that groundwork will take more than text mining, and certainly more than the subset of textual materials on offer.
  • The phonetic groundwork of a language, however, is only one of the features that give its literature a certain direction.
  • Physicists are now laying the groundwork for so-called quantum repeaters.
  • And in his own laboratory, he's laying the groundwork that may help this evolutionary leap happen ahead of schedule.
  • But that hardly even matters unless all the rest of us have laid the groundwork.
  • But they inadvertently laid the groundwork for hostility between non-whites.
  • But a new study has laid the groundwork for future research into the topic.
  • Laying the groundwork for an educationally rich family vacation needn't focus only on the destination.
British Dictionary definitions for groundwork


preliminary work as a foundation or basis
the ground or background of a painting, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for groundwork

mid-15c., from ground (n.) + work (n.). Cf. Middle Dutch grontwerck, Dutch grondwerk, German grundwerk. Originally "the solid base on which a structure is built;" figurative sense is from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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