The initial stage of something; the beginning: Problems arose at the very outset. (noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "outset" in a sentence
"Economics at the outset is a very logical science, and does not declare what is right or what is wrong, it merely offers what have been called "pattern predictions.""
"Stating political bias at the outset is therefore seen as being more honest."
"Twitter proves beyond all doubt that designing scalability at the outset is unnecessary."