go a long way toward (something)

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

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