break ground

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

to break ground

  1. (literally) To begin digging in the earth at the start of a new construction, or, originally, for cultivation.
    They broke ground on the new library last month.
    • 1913, Willa Cather, O Pioneers!, chapter 2
      Try to break a little more land every year; sod corn is good for fodder. Keep turning the land, and always put up more hay than you need.
  2. (idiomatic) To initiate a new venture, or to advance beyond previous achievements.
    The invention breaks ground in its programming and its structure.
  3. (nautical, of an anchor) To lift off the sea bottom when being weighed.

See also[edit]