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foundation Line breaks: foun|da¦tion
Pronunciation: /faʊnˈdeɪʃ(ə)n/

Definition of foundation in English:


1 (often foundations) The lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level: foundations were being dug for a block of flats build the arch resting on top of this solid foundation
More 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.
1.1 [mass noun] A cream or powder used as a base to even out facial skin tone before applying other cosmetics: [as modifier]: foundation cream
More 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: 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 physics, the foundation of all the sciences
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;
fundamental point/principle, principal constituent, main ingredient;
principles, fundamentals, rudiments;
cornerstone, core, heart, thrust, essence, kernel, nub, underpinning, groundwork
2.1 [mass noun, often with negative] Justification or reason: 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, defence, reason, cause, mitigating circumstances, mitigation, extenuation, explanation, occasion, basis, motive, motivation, excuse, call, pretext, provocation
3 [mass noun] The action of establishing an institution or organization: the foundation of a civil service college
More 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.
3.1 [count noun] An institution established with an endowment, for example a research body or charity: charitable foundations
More 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, institution, charitable body, funding agency, source of funds


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

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