"groundwork" in the noun sense
1. basis, base, foundation, fundament, groundwork, cornerstone
the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained
"the whole argument rested on a basis of conjecture"
2. foundation, base, fundament, foot, groundwork, substructure, understructure
lowest support of a structure
"it was built on a base of solid rock"
"he stood at the foot of the tower"
preliminary preparation as a basis or foundation
"we are prepared today because of groundwork that was done ten years ago"
Source: WordNet® (An amazing lexical database of English)
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