to lay the groundwork

Idiom Definition

"to lay the groundwork"

to provide the basic ideas or foundation which will be used to build upon later

Idiom Definition - to lay the groundwork


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to lay the groundwork

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  How are you doing with implementing the personnel policy?

Colleague 2:  As you know, the new policy will be a radical change from the previous policy.

Colleague 1:  How are you going to implement the policy, then?

Colleague 2:  By laying the groundwork very carefully and simply.

Colleague 1:  OK. So you'll introduce the new policy slowly and build on it later?

Colleague 2:  Exactly!

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to lay the groundwork

Two friends are talking about going into business together ...

Friend 1:  How do you suppose we are going to run our business?

Friend 2:  Well, before we get into that, we should talk about all the basics, first.

Friend 1:  You mean talk about the basic foundation of our partnership?

Friend 2:  Yes!  We need to lay the groundwork carefully right in the beginning so we have fewer disagreements later.

Friend 1:  Good idea!

to lay the groundwork - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,550   click for frequency by country

to lay the groundwork - Gerund Form:

Laying the groundwork for introducing a new concept can make the concept easier for people to understand.

to lay the groundwork - Examples:

1)  The ways we lay the groundwork for violence in the small are in the everyday ways we interact.

2)  They're going to lay the groundwork for a stable system that's going to make sure that this doesn't happen again.

3)  This Council of Foreign Ministers will lay the groundwork for future peace settlements.

4)  In doing do she has helped to lay the groundwork for new methodologies for the study of human consciousness.

5)  Try to make people happy, and you lay the groundwork for misery.

6)  Try to make people moral, and you lay the groundwork for vice.

7)  You'll see that if you lay the groundwork correctly, things will start clicking into place.

8)  Either one will, in an exciting way, lay the groundwork for introducing the nature of science.

9)  The assessment may then lay the groundwork for future legal action.

10)  The Dartmouth conference did bring together the founders in AI, and served to lay the groundwork for the future of AI research.

11)  In the beginning, it's an opportunity to lay the groundwork for a little bit of reminding people where we're going back to.

12)  Setting artificial deadlines and creating yet another set of unrealistic expectations did not lay the groundwork for sustained real progress.

13)  At the same time, she says it doesn't hurt to lay the groundwork for several sources of income.

14)  By focusing on personal priorities to the detriment of national interests, they lay the groundwork for further problems.

15)  It is fair to ask: do the proceedings of this event lay the groundwork for revolutionary rather than evolutionary change?

16)  We're going to lay the groundwork, and my grand kids are going to reap the benefits.

17)  That will help identify gaps and lay the groundwork for a strategy to fill them.

18)  What's important is for government to recognize that its role is to lay the groundwork -- and then get the hell out of the way.

19)  Looking ahead to next year, he is trying to lay the groundwork for a renewed effort to reform Social Security and Medicare.

20)  It looks like the sort of campaign that is designed to lay the groundwork for a policy shift.