root of the matter

the root of the matter

The most important, basic, or fundamental essence or elements of an issue, problem, or matter at hand. Thank you all for attending this staff meeting. Before we get to the root of the matter, I'd like to assure each of you that your jobs are secure. Here's the root of the matter, Bill: we feel you've not been meeting the standards of work that we should be expecting of you in recent weeks.
See also: matter, of, root

root of the matter

The essential part or cause of something, as in We still don't understand what happened; we must get to the root of the matter. This expression was first recorded in the Bible (Job 19:28).
See also: matter, of, root
References in classic literature ?
And to go to the root of the matter, why are you so positively convinced that not to act against his real normal interests guaranteed by the conclusions of reason and arithmetic is certainly always advantageous for man and must always be a law for mankind?
Having now, in his own phrase, "got to the root of the matter," he relighted his pipe with a grunt of satisfaction, and laid himself back in his old armchair.
There is another explanation somewhere, I feel convinced, at the root of the matter.
There is a certain class of unbelievers who sometimes ask me such questions as, if I think that I can live on vegetable food alone; and to strike at the root of the matter at once -- for the root is faith -- I am accustomed to answer such, that I can live on board nails.
Unlikely as it may seem, I had now actually groped my way to the root of the matter at last.
The usual words, however, must be respected; they will be found to contain the root of the matter.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Tiwari alleged that the banned substance was mixed in the food at the Sports Authority of India ( SAI) centre in Sonepat, and a asked for a thorough probe to get to the root of the matter.
That's why we need to move beyond this trivial renegotiation and cut to the root of the matter by voting to leave.
Once you get to the root of the matter you will know what to do.
Usually, said Fatima, there is a bigger underlying problem which needs to be spotted in order to get to the root of the matter.
We should determine the elements of this regime by getting to the root of the matter.
But the root of the matter, he added, was that the Army failed to include the local government in its security measures.
Instead of playing politics, we should go into the root of the matter," said Adeeb.