Definition of spadework in US English:



  • Routine or difficult preparatory work.

    ‘there were a few young recruits on hand to help with the spadework’
    • ‘But these are the historians who have done the initial spadework, who have documented their findings in an exemplary manner and who will come to be seen in the long term as the mentors in this particular field of English social history.’
    • ‘However, we played a great system that meant I had a lot of chances and my strike partner Lee put in a lot of spadework for me.’
    • ‘But the spadework and contacts that he had undertaken during his lifetime did much to lighten the labour of those who followed.’
    • ‘Today has been spent partly at work but partly doing some spadework on health policies.’
    • ‘Though the family obsession with privacy required that much be left out, Carrington had done the essential spadework, and all subsequent biographers are indebted to him.’
    • ‘It may well turn out to be a stinker anyway, but at least its leading actor has put in a bit of spadework.’
    • ‘This diplomatic spadework laid the foundation for the surgical and successful military operation that slivered Pakistan in late 1971.’
    • ‘But his outburst compelled us to do some spadework to find out how many Catholics have held office in our party over a long period of years.’
    • ‘But the spadework has begun: health inspectors have started identifying the good, the bad and the ugly areas.’
    • ‘There is a great deal more spadework that the marketing team could and should do to ensure that the company reaps the most from its investment in the event.’
    • ‘Boasting of his good economic management’ fails to give credit to all the good spadework done by years of Labour governments.’
    • ‘Her ideas on various projects were widely borrowed, but due credit was not given for all the spadework she unstintingly put in.’
    • ‘States that do the necessary spadework can hope for sufficient foreign direct investment.’
    • ‘This right-wing think tank performed the ideological spadework for the war and provided a large share of the personnel who launched it.’
    • ‘While district leaders are busy doing the spadework, senior leaders are converging on the town one after the other.’
    • ‘The spadework was done by Petrov and Sutton, and their Swedish teammate duly converted from close in.’
    • ‘Alternatively, a good mortgage broker will do the spadework for you - just remember to choose one that doesn't charge brokerage fees.’
    • ‘Jackson went about her spadework and dug for facts.’
    • ‘Why not let the other side do all the hard political spadework of introducing new taxes and then spend the revenue when it's your turn in office?’
    • ‘If Moore had been aggrieved to see Malcolm, his defensive partner, find the scoresheet in the first half, especially after it was he who had done the spadework, the big Australian was determined not to waste another such opportunity.’
    preliminary work, preparations, planning, groundwork, foundations, homework, preliminaries, provision, preparatory measures
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