foun·da·tion | \fau̇n-ˈdā-shən \

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

foundational \fau̇n-ˈdā-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective
foundationally adverb
foundationless \fau̇n-ˈdā-shən-ləs \ 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

Whether the foundation of the Christian faith was a refugee in the Middle East should not play a major role in justifying America's immigration policy years later. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Trump allies keep using the Bible in the immigration debate," 12 July 2018 The home’s foundation is rock solid, built on a series of 39-foot pilings, rebar and a concrete substructure. David Lyons,, "Boca waterfront mansion a finalist in HGTV's 'Ultimate House Hunt'," 18 June 2018 And having the absolute right to protest anything or everything that the flag might stand for without rebuke from the government is the foundation of the United States, guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. Chris Korman, For The Win, "Donald Trump continues to miss the point of NFL protests," 15 June 2018 The nonprofit think tank, backed by charitable foundations and major banks, advocates for better financial products, especially for Americans on the fringes of the financial system. James Rufus Koren,, "For a day, I was one of the millions of Americans without a bank account. It was humbling," 21 June 2018 In a lawsuit filed Thursday, New York’s Attorney General Barbara Underwood said President Donald Trump’s charitable foundation served as a personal piggy bank for his businesses, legal bills and presidential campaign. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Citing Bible, Trump administration digs in on 'zero tolerance' immigration policy," 14 June 2018 Mark Wilson Getty Images President Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has persistently broken state and federal laws with improper political activity, self-dealing and failing to follow basic fiduciary obligations, New York said in a lawsuit. Fortune, "Trump Foundation Accused of Violating Charity Law," 14 June 2018 Tomarken's departure has sparked concern about the future of the charitable foundation that provides financial and medical assistance to music professionals. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "In Deal for NYC Grammys, MSG Warned Recording Academy That 'No Events Could Be At Barclays'," 1 June 2018 Tepper’s charitable foundation has $190.6 million worth of assets, according to its most recent publicly available IRS filing. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "Panthers leaders met with David Tepper about open dialogue, but that's not all he wants," 29 May 2018

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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Phrases Related to foundation

lay a/the foundation

lay the groundwork/foundation

Statistics for foundation

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foundation

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

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More Definitions for foundation



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 \

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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Comments on foundation

What made you want to look up foundation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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