Lay the groundwork


      • prepare for something
        To establish the necessary foundation or basis for something, often in a systematic or thorough manner, in order to achieve a successful outcome or result

      • make initial progress
        To make initial progress or take the first steps towards achieving a goal or completing a task, often by completing necessary preliminary tasks or actions first

    Examples of Lay the groundwork

    • Before launching a new product, the company needs to lay the groundwork by conducting market research, identifying potential customers, and developing a marketing strategy.

      The idiom "lay the groundwork" refers to preparing the foundation or setting the stage for something to happen. In this context, it means that the company needs to take the necessary steps to create a solid foundation for the successful launch of the new product. By conducting market research, identifying potential customers, and developing a marketing strategy, the company can ensure that the product will meet the needs of the target audience and that the launch will be successful.


    The idiom "lay the groundwork" is commonly used to refer to the act of preparing or establishing the necessary foundation for something. This can involve various actions, such as setting up a solid plan, gathering resources, or completing necessary tasks, with the intention of achieving a successful outcome in the future. It can also refer to making initial progress or taking the first steps towards a goal or task, often by completing necessary preliminary tasks first.

    Origin of "Lay the groundwork"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the literal meaning of the words. "Lay" means to place or set something down, while "groundwork" refers to the base or foundation upon which something is built. Together, they convey the idea of building a strong foundation for something.

    The idiom has been in use since the 1600s and was originally used in agriculture and construction contexts. In farming, laying the groundwork involved preparing the soil for planting crops, while in construction, it referred to laying the foundation for a building. Over time, the term became more widely used and eventually evolved to encompass a broader range of activities and tasks.

    Today, "lay the groundwork" is often used in a figurative sense, referring to the act of preparing or setting the necessary foundation for any type of endeavor. It is a versatile idiom that can be applied to various situations, from personal goals and projects to business strategies and plans.