break ground

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break ground

To start a construction project. The phrase refers to the first excavation of the site, often done with a ceremonial shovel. They broke ground on the new corporate headquarters today, but it will be years before we can actually move into it.
See also: break, ground

break new ground

To innovate. They've really broken new ground with their latest product—I've never seen anything like it.
See also: break, ground, new

break ground (for something)

to start digging the foundation for a building. The president of the company came to break ground for the new building. This was the third building this year for which this company has broken ground. When do they expect to break ground at the new site?
See also: break, ground

break new ground

Fig. to begin to do something that no one else has done; to pioneer [in an enterprise]. Dr. Anderson was breaking new ground in cancer research. They were breaking new ground in consumer electronics.
See also: break, ground, new

break ground

Also, break new ground.
1. Begin digging into the earth for new construction of some kind. For example, When will they break ground for the town hall? This usage alludes to breaking up the land with a plow. [Early 1700s]
2. Take the first steps for a new venture; advance beyond previous achievements. For example, Jeff is breaking new ground in intellectual property law. [Early 1700s]
See also: break, ground

break ground

AMERICAN
1. If someone breaks ground on a new building, they start building it and if a new building breaks ground, it starts to be built. Simpson and Hurt hope to break ground on a planned outdoor theater next August. The first co-housing project in America will break ground soon.
2. If someone breaks ground in a particular activity or area of study, they do something that is different and if something breaks ground, it is different from what came before. Perhaps I am lucky to have been in there at the start, when this music was breaking ground for the first time. We are breaking ground in the law here and have to proceed cautiously.
See also: break, ground

break new ground

COMMON If someone breaks new ground, they make progress by doing something completely different. The programme broke new ground, in giving to women roles traditionally assigned to men. They're trying to break new ground, make a new kind of cinema. Note: You can also use ground-breaking before a noun. He was given an award for his ground-breaking work in the field. She wrote a ground-breaking book on the subject. Note: You use these expressions to show approval.
See also: break, ground, new

break ground

1. To begin a new construction project.
2. To advance beyond previous achievements.
See also: break, ground

break new ground

To advance beyond previous achievements: broke new ground in the field of computers.
See also: break, ground, new