foundation or basis: He laid the groundwork for an international conference.

Nearby words

  1. groundspeed,
  2. groundswell,
  3. groundwater,
  4. groundwood,
  5. groundwood pulp,
  6. group,
  7. group a streptococcus,
  8. group agglutination,
  9. group agglutinin,
  10. group annuity

Origin of groundwork

First recorded in 1540–50; ground1 + work Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for groundwork

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

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