Definition of break ground in English:

break ground


North American
  • 1Do preparatory digging or other work prior to building or planting something.

    ‘this tractor can break ground in the spring and throw snow in the winter’
    • ‘He said the project broke ground in August of 1997 but was halted later, victim of the depressed financial crisis in Southeast Asia.’
    • ‘I never felt so good as we broke ground as I did that day, knowing that we were moving forward, even if only a slight amount.’
    • ‘Construction crews broke ground last week on the long-awaited skateboard facility at Shaw Millennium Park.’
    • ‘The chain opened five hotels in the two months and also broke ground on 12 more.’
    • ‘Before breaking ground, he is also holding out for a law that would allow the enforcement of gaming debts, but the government is still drafting that legislation.’
    • ‘Either he spoke at your school or broke ground for your office building, or you met him when he was running for mayor of Calgary or you saw him speak when he was lieutenant-governor.’
    • ‘The number of housing projects builders broke ground on in January declined by the largest amount in nearly a year as bad winter weather played havoc with construction activity.’
    • ‘Five years ago, developers broke ground for River Station in the same area, and the first of some 360 new condos sold at prices twice as high as had been predicted.’
    • ‘Long before the first shovel breaks ground, your organization will need to make a commitment to the importance of adopting a green approach to the future development of the facility.’
    • ‘So, in October 1981, the administration broke ground for the highway, and it was completed two years and nine months later.’
  • 2Do something innovative and beneficial.

    ‘it broke ground by holding a national convention to select its candidates last year’
    • ‘Author Sara Paretsky broke ground in contemporary mystery writing with the 1982 debut of V.I. Warshawski, a tough-talking, hard-boiled and independent female detective.’
    • ‘While it broke ground by merging political and social issues with blistering, tribal-influenced metal, the group was never an overtly spiritual or introspective band.’
    • ‘The new bill also breaks ground in the regulation of comparative advertising.’
    • ‘Of course, of course, and it wasn't until after - then people said, ‘Oh, you broke ground.’’
    • ‘But he broke ground, as he did in every aspect of the museum, when he converted to for-profit status.’
    • ‘Although most media ignored the rally and none of the baked goods managed to sell, he maintains that events like this one show the promise of breaking ground and making gains for Alberta students.’
    • ‘In fact, he is breaking ground in two ways in 2001: his first-ever remount and also the first new play in which he revisits characters from an earlier work.’
    • ‘He plays a local lawyer who takes on a female coal miner's case of sexual harassment and breaks ground by filing the first class action lawsuit of its kind.’
    • ‘We're all pioneers, breaking ground, changing people's minds about what the Latino image is.’
    • ‘It breaks ground and you'll still want to listen to it in five years, even after the fad of pop electronica wears off.’