the 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

root of the matter, the

The essence of something; the true basis or cause. This term appears in the Bible (Job 19:28): “Why persecute him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?” It is still used as a metaphor for the ultimate cause.
See also: of, root
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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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."
Nor do I pretend that the foregoing remarks go to the root of the matter: no explanation is offered why an organism, when placed under unnatural conditions, is rendered sterile.
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.
Thank God, the details of the interview were of little consequence, if only he could get at the root of the matter; but if Svidrigailov were capable .
The usual words, however, must be respected; they will be found to contain the root of the matter. The point of distinction in all this class of names, as courtesy, chivalry, fashion, and the like, is that the flower and fruit, not the grain of the tree, are contemplated.
here I reach the root of the matter. He wanted you to marry him?"
I also want to urge Mr.Olukolu to use his good offices to constitute a special intelligence detective team to begin investigation into these killings so as to get to the root of the matter expeditiously.
He told the family to be patient as they get to the root of the matter.
To get to the root of the matter, President Buhari constituted an investigative panel during the National Security Council meeting at the Presidential Villa last Thursday.
So, enough monkeying around, let's get to the root of the matter. I'm here to tell you about Ed Brown's new line of guns, the EVO, and how they managed to make a custom 9mm 1911 with custom features for a lower price than their other offerings.
The extraordinary sensitivity and talent of the two performers allow you to get direct to the root of the matter and the heart of the spectator, through a purity of styles all the fruit of informed and rigorous elaboration: unique in being able to stage their work, Marcelo and Giorgia are two performers with the precision of mime artistes, the bearing of dancers and the enchantment of marionettes, to express with their bodies what is not allowed to be said in words, in harmony with the whole, result of daily work on a life-long path of research and experimentation." He added: "Among the most contemporary tango artistes, the couple Marcelo and Giorgia are one of the most loved and admired couples.
He said that government will go to the root of the matter.