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foundation Syllabification: foun·da·tion
Pronunciation: /founˈdāSH(ə)n/

Definition of foundation in English:


1 (often foundations) The lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level.
Example sentences
  • As Fry cut the vinyl siding, the parkland around him was bustling with construction teams pouring concrete and building solid new foundations.
  • The surviving remains include parts of the main gate, on the east, and some excavated areas within the walls containing the foundations of domestic buildings, a small bath suite, and a sanctuary.
  • They were digging building foundations, when they discovered 160 graves.
footing, foot, base, substructure, infrastructure, underpinning;
bottom, bedrock, substratum
1.1A body or ground on which other parts rest or are overlaid: he starts playing melody lines on the bass instead of laying the foundation down
More example sentences
  • What it doesn't do is stifle his ability to hope and to lay a solid foundation for the future.
  • And the president has laid a solid foundation for economic growth.
  • First comes knowledge - building a strong intellectual foundation.
1.2 (also foundation garment) A woman’s supporting undergarment, such as a girdle.
Example sentences
  • You can slim those hips by slipping into a ‘foundation garment’ along with some silky underwear.
  • One of most curious abandoned items was a corselette, a woman's foundation garment, not easily removed.
  • After measuring the hips, waists, and chests of our mostly elderly customers, I would go into the stock room to find the proper ‘foundation garment.’
1.3A cream or powder used as a base to even out facial skin tone before applying other cosmetics.
Example sentences
  • After evening out my skin tone with foundation and powder, Veronica dusted on a light bronzer for color and a soft pink blush to give my cheeks a rosy glow.
  • Lipsticks, glosses, foundations and any other cosmetics with a greasy or wet feel tend to only last a year before they begin to smell waxy and rancid.
  • There were creams, scrubs, conditioners, foundations, powders and all manner of strange devices with which to apply them.
2An underlying basis or principle for something: this idea is the foundation of all modern economics without stability, the country will not be able hold the elections that will lay the foundation for a peaceful and democratic future
More example sentences
  • It talks about the importance of having core principles as a foundation for how to work.
  • It seems to us, with the greatest respect, that it would have little or nothing to do with providing a foundation for the basis of the duty that has been contended for here.
  • Does everyone in the newsroom understand which journalistic principles provide a foundation for the guideline?
basis, starting point, base, point of departure, beginning, premise;
principles, fundamentals, rudiments;
cornerstone, core, heart, thrust, essence, kernel
2.1 [often with negative] Justification or reason: distorted and misleading accusations with no foundation
More example sentences
  • I am picking these items to show how editors accepted accusations without foundation, and name calling without caveat or caution.
  • The unanimous response was that the entire argument was without foundation.
  • But it cannot in my judgment be said that such a prohibition is without reasonable foundation.
justification, grounds, defense, reason, rationale, cause, basis, motive, excuse, call, pretext, provocation
3The action of establishing an institution or organization on a permanent basis, especially with an endowment.
Example sentences
  • Larry was given a special Comhaltas award last year for his extraordinary service to the organisation since its foundation in 1951.
  • Values are a very large part of the culture and foundation of any organization.
  • The Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences was founded in Kiev in 1934 and Grave served as the first director of the Institute from its foundation until his death in 1939.
3.1An institution established with an endowment, for example a college or a body devoted to financing research or charity.
Example sentences
  • Immigration consultants, placement service agencies and research foundations are also participating in the fair.
  • Funding for the Campbell Collaboration also comes from major research foundations, research charities, private philanthropists, and government sources.
  • She lectures to corporations, foundations and educational institutions.
endowed institution, charitable body, funding agency, source of funds, endowment;


Late Middle English: from Old French fondation, from Latin fundatio(n-), from fundare 'to lay a base for' (see found2).

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