foun·​da·​tion | \ fau̇n-ˈdā-shən How to pronounce foundation (audio) \

Definition of foundation

1 : the act of founding here since the foundation of the school
2 : a basis (such as a tenet, principle, or axiom) upon which something stands or is supported the foundations of geometry the rumor is without foundation in fact
3a : funds given for the permanent support of an institution : endowment
b : an organization or institution established by endowment with provision for future maintenance a trust administered by a foundation
4 : an underlying base or support especially : the whole masonry substructure of a building
5a : a body or ground upon which something is built up or overlaid a limestone foundation
b : a woman's supporting undergarment : corset
c : a cosmetic usually used as a base for makeup

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Other Words from foundation

foundationless \ fau̇n-​ˈdā-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce foundationless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of foundation in a Sentence

The inspector discovered a crack in the house's foundation. The book explains the moral foundations on which her political career was built. These problems threaten the very foundations of modern society. The scandal has shaken the government to its foundations. They established a foundation to help orphaned children.
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Recent Examples on the Web Jim was just waiting to see if the foundation was wrecked. John Carlisle,, "A hot dog truck rolled though destroyed Sanford. This is what they saw.," 29 May 2020 Continuous metal strapping from roof trusses to the foundation also help to maintain overall structural stability in the homes. Fox News, "Round homes and hurricanes: How circular design, emphasis on connections keep these structures standing," 27 May 2020 In total, the foundation has awarded $1.4 million dollars to date. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Allen ISD foundation awards $125K in grants for classroom, campus projects," 27 May 2020 Mass shooting victims interested in participating can apply to the foundation to attend. oregonlive, "Thurston High shooting survivor acts to help victims of other mass shootings heal," 21 May 2020 The first story is Julia Ortiz, who works for the foundation. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "See the cover for Adriana Herrera's new department store romance Here to Stay," 19 May 2020 Former Michigan kicker Jay Feely, the newest addition to the foundation, will host. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "ChadTough Foundation event goes virtual, former Michigan football kicker Jay Feely to host," 15 May 2020 Tangen plans to transfer his interest in AKO to a charitable foundation that will then have about 5 billion kroner in funds. Mikael Holter,, "A Hedge Fund Manager’s Dream Job Comes With Drastic Pay Cut," 8 May 2020 More than makeup, Mary Kay’s creamy medium- to full-coverage foundation delivers hydrating and anti-aging effects via ingredients like softening vitamin E, radiance- enhancing niacinamide and smoothing peptides. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, "Good Housekeeping's 2020 Beauty Awards," 28 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foundation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of foundation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for foundation

Middle English fundacioun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French fundacion, borrowed from Latin fundātiōn-, fundātiō, from fundāre "to found entry 4" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

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Time Traveler for foundation

Time Traveler

The first known use of foundation was in the 14th century

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Statistics for foundation

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Foundation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for foundation


How to pronounce foundation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of foundation

: a usually stone or concrete structure that supports a building from underneath
: something (such as an idea, a principle, or a fact) that provides support for something
: an organization that is created and supported with money that people give in order to do something that helps society


foun·​da·​tion | \ fau̇n-ˈdā-shən How to pronounce foundation (audio) \

Kids Definition of foundation

1 : the support upon which something rests the foundation of a building the foundations of our legal system
2 : the act of beginning or creating He has taught here since the school's foundation.



Legal Definition of foundation

1 : a basis upon which something stands or is supported specifically : a witness's preliminary testimony given to identify or explain evidence being offered at trial and establish its connection to the issue for which it is offered the lack of any foundation for the orthopedic surgeon's familiarity with the…standard of care rendered the surgeon's opinion testimony inadmissible National Law Journal

Note: Before evidence can be admitted at trial, the foundation for it must be laid by the party offering it. A foundation must also be laid for the qualification of a witness as an expert, or for the assertion of a privilege.

2a : funds given for the permanent support of an institution : endowment
b : an organization or institution established by endowment with provision for future maintenance

Other Words from foundation

foundational adjective

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