groundwork

[ground-wurk]
noun
foundation or basis: He laid the groundwork for an international conference.

Origin:
1540–50; ground1 + work

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To groundwork
Collins
World English Dictionary
groundwork (ˈɡraʊndˌwɜːk)
 
n
1.  preliminary work as a foundation or basis
2.  the ground or background of a painting, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Example sentences
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.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature