foundation

noun

foun·​da·​tion fau̇n-ˈdā-shən How to pronounce foundation (audio)
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
3
a
: 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
5
a
: 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
foundationless 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Investors are faced with the twin challenges of avoiding companies that will not sustain the changing times and supporting those whose strong foundations leave them well-positioned for profound transformation. Raphaëlle D’ornano, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Beaumont Abbey’s history The abbey’s foundations date to 1002, and it was used by Benedictine nuns until 1790 when they were expelled at the start of the French Revolution, Blanchard said. Moira Ritter, Miami Herald, 21 Feb. 2024 Supporters can also follow the foundation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Shayla Brown, Parents, 20 Feb. 2024 This story of the systematic weakening of India’s democratic foundations is increasingly well known outside the country, with watchdog groups bemoaning the backsliding of the world’s largest democracy. Ramachandra Guha, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The Biggest Revelations from Matthew Perry's Memoir, 'Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing' Before his untimely death on Oct. 28, the beloved Friends star had been planning to establish a foundation to support those suffering from the same disease. Lizz Schumer, Peoplemag, 20 Feb. 2024 The contract agreement reached between Arizona and Reed-Francois features an annual base salary of $1 million, with an additional $250,000 contribution from the university’s foundation. The Kansas City Star, Kansas City Star, 19 Feb. 2024 Strong data foundations and governance will be critical to prevent vulnerabilities as many companies move to operationalize AI across their enterprises. Paul Hudson, Fortune, 19 Feb. 2024 The Associated Press’ climate and environmental coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. Suman Naishadham, Fortune, 9 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'foundation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near foundation

Cite this Entry

“Foundation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foundation. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

foundation

noun
foun·​da·​tion fau̇n-ˈdā-shən How to pronounce foundation (audio)
1
: the act of founding
2
: the support upon which something rests
a house with a cinder-block foundation
suspicions with no foundation in fact
3
: funds given for the permanent support of an institution
also : an institution supported by such funds
foundational
-shnəl How to pronounce foundation (audio)
-shən-ᵊl
adjective

Legal Definition

foundation

noun
foun·​da·​tion
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.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on foundation

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