From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

groundbreaking \ground"break`ing\ n.
   The ceremonial breaking of the ground to formally begin a
   construction project. It is sometimes carried out by an
   official who digs the first spadeful of dirt from the ground,
   to begin the preparatory excavation work.

   Syn: groundbreaking ceremony.
        [WordNet 1.5] groundcover
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