get to first base

Idioms & Phrases

get to first base

Also, reach first base.

  1. Succeed in the initial phase of something; meet with preliminary approval. For example, They were delighted that they'd gotten to first base in the negotiations. This term alludes to the first base of baseball, which is the first step toward scoring a run for the batter's team. [c. 1900]

  2. Reach the initial stage of sexual intimacy, such as kissing. For example, Mary is so shy that I can't even get to first base with her. [1920s]

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