What does the word outset mean?

Usage examples for outset

  1. They were to try and put a stop to our journey at its outset; but mounted men will have ridden on ahead, especially as they couldn't have been sure that we should follow this road. – Bonnie Prince Charlie A Tale of Fontenoy and Culloden by G. A. Henty
  2. But I deemed it best to open a track at the outset across the country to the point of destination. – Thirty Years in the Itinerancy by Wesson Gage Miller
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