set the stage for (something)

set the stage for (something)

1. Literally, to prepare and decorate the stage for a scene in a play. During the intermission, you guys need to set the stage for the first scene of act two.
2. To be the catalyst for something that happens later. Their squabbling at Thanksgiving dinner set the stage for a total screaming match on Christmas. A positive conversation with the CEO today could set the stage for a promotion tomorrow.
See also: set, stage

set the stage for something

 
1. Lit. to arrange a stage for an act or scene of a production. The stage crew set the stage for the first act. They set the stage for the second scene while the orchestra played.
2. Fig. to prepare something for some activity. The initial meeting set the stage for further negotiations. Your negative comments set the stage for another big argument.
See also: set, stage