foun·​da·​tion·​al fau̇n-ˈdā-shnəl How to pronounce foundational (audio)
: of, relating to, or forming or serving as a base or foundation : fundamental
foundational principles/doctrines
These foundational volumes proved to be, each in its own way, enabling gestures for the growth of sophisticated theories and critical practices in African, Caribbean, and African American literatures.Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Property was, in a sense, foundational to culture, since English political economy rested on the private ownership of land, and the political economy, in turn, largely structured social relations.Jill Lepore
Philosophy is a foundational discipline. Not only does it do the spadework that makes the construction of other disciplines possible; it also pays constant attention to the foundations of those disciplines as they are practiced.Cognitive Science
foundationally adverb

Examples of foundational in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As half of the foundational production duo The Neptunes, Williams has set the backdrop for some of music's greatest hits. Rishikesh Rajagopalan, CBS News, 6 June 2024 Yet the same foundational perils remained, awaiting an inevitable future disturbance. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, 2 June 2024 This is a foundational issue for the FDA, which must consider whether the trial results would apply to a general population post-approval. Olivia Goldhill, STAT, 31 May 2024 In all my work, empathy is the foundational element. R. Eric Thomas, The Mercury News, 24 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for foundational 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1657, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of foundational was in 1657

Dictionary Entries Near foundational

Cite this Entry

“Foundational.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!