What does the word groundwork mean?

Usage examples for groundwork

  1. The groundwork of the arrangement was the family dresser, which, with its shining handles, and finger- marks, and domestic evidences thick upon it, stood importantly in front, over the tails of the shaft- horses, in its erect and natural position, like some Ark of the Covenant that they were bound to carry reverently. – Tess of the d'Urbervilles A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy
  2. So he mastered the groundwork of his art. – Haydn by John F. Runciman
  3. And morals are the groundwork of all, and surely superior to the languages spoken by those who believed in heathen gods. – Rossmoyne by Unknown
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