a lot of <ground>

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— Your behavior cost us a lot of ground tonight. I had to talk for hours to repair the damage.
The Lawnmower Man, film

What could "ground" mean here?...
On a meeting with the authorities of the agency Angelo is working with, he started a brawl when learned that Timms, the project director, had lied to him and secretly modified the course of the project. Later, Timms says the OP phrase to Angelo.
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  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Basically, it's a reference to trust and the ultimate success of the project. The people they are working with could not be happy seeing the people they were trying to work with acting in that unprofessional way. They would have to have some reluctance about getting involved in the first place.

    The metaphor is a reference to a battle. When you are winning a battle you gain ground. When you are losing a battle you lose ground. They are in a figurative battle (with life/chaos/bad luck) to have a successful project with the other people. Anything that causes them to lose ground in that battle is bad.
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