go a long way toward

go a long way toward (something)

To be helpful in achieving some goal. Don't do anything rash—patience will go a long way toward bringing you allies in this situation.
See also: long, toward, way

go a long way toward doing something

 and go a long way in doing something
Fig. almost to satisfy specific conditions; to be almost right. This machine goes a long way toward meeting our needs. Your plan went a long way in helping us with our problem.
See also: long, toward, way

go a long way toward

Have considerable effect or influence on. For example, This argument goes a long way toward proving the scientists are wrong, or, as Eudora Welty put it in The Ponder Heart (1954): "It went a long way toward making him touchy about what Uncle Daniel had gone and done." This idiom, then put as go a great way toward, was first recorded in 1697.
See also: long, toward, way

go a long/some way towards doing something

help very much/a little in achieving something: The new law goes a long way towards solving the problem.
See also: long, something, towards, way
References in periodicals archive ?
Either of these alternatives would go a long way toward creating the kind of health care system most Americans want: a system in which doctors and patients, not HMOs, make decisions about what services patients need, and in which patients can speak to doctors without fear of having their words plastered across cyberspace.