Lay-a-foundation meaning

(law) To elicit information from a witness to show that the witness has knowledge of a matter before the witness testifies to the matter itself.

In order to lay a foundation for the witness to describe the murder, the prosecutor first had to show that the witness was present when the murder occurred.

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To make a start.

You should lay a foundation, even if you can't finish the project.

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Origin of lay-a-foundation