lay the groundwork

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lay the groundwork

  1. (idiomatic) To create a foundation; to provide the basics or fundamentals.
    The introductory mathematics courses will lay the groundwork for all your subsequent engineering studies.
    • 2014, Ian Black, "Courts kept busy as Jordan works to crush support for Isis", The Guardian, 27 November 2014:
      Arrests and prosecutions intensified after Isis captured Mosul in June, but the groundwork had been laid by an earlier amendment to Jordan’s anti-terrorism law. It is estimated that 2,000 Jordanians have fought and 250 of them have died in Syria – making them the third largest Arab contingent in Isis after Saudi Arabians and Tunisians.