Definition of spadework in US English:



  • Routine or difficult preparatory work.

    • ‘Boasting of his good economic management’ fails to give credit to all the good spadework done by years of Labour governments.’
    • ‘But the spadework has begun: health inspectors have started identifying the good, the bad and the ugly areas.’
    • ‘States that do the necessary spadework can hope for sufficient foreign direct investment.’
    • ‘Her ideas on various projects were widely borrowed, but due credit was not given for all the spadework she unstintingly put in.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Today has been spent partly at work but partly doing some spadework on health policies.’
    • ‘This right-wing think tank performed the ideological spadework for the war and provided a large share of the personnel who launched it.’
    • ‘But the spadework and contacts that he had undertaken during his lifetime did much to lighten the labour of those who followed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jackson went about her spadework and dug for facts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The spadework was done by Petrov and Sutton, and their Swedish teammate duly converted from close in.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This diplomatic spadework laid the foundation for the surgical and successful military operation that slivered Pakistan in late 1971.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It may well turn out to be a stinker anyway, but at least its leading actor has put in a bit of spadework.’
    • ‘Alternatively, a good mortgage broker will do the spadework for you - just remember to choose one that doesn't charge brokerage fees.’
    • ‘While district leaders are busy doing the spadework, senior leaders are converging on the town one after the other.’
    • ‘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?’
    preliminary work, preparations, planning, groundwork, foundations, homework, preliminaries, provision, preparatory measures
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