spadework

[ speyd-wurk ]
/ ˈspeɪdˌwɜrk /

noun

preliminary or initial work, such as the gathering of data, on which further activity is to be based.

Origin of spadework

First recorded in 1770–80; spade1 + work
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for spadework

spadework

/ (ˈspeɪdˌwɜːk) /

noun

dull or routine preparatory work
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