Definition of foundation noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//faʊnˈdeɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//faʊnˈdeɪʃn//
    Construction, Structures, Beauty products, Helping others
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  1. 1  [countable, usually plural] a layer of bricks, concrete, etc. that forms the solid underground base of a building The builders are now beginning to lay the foundations of the new school. The explosion shook the foundations of the houses nearby. Synonymsbottombase foundation footThese are all words for the lowest part of something.bottom [usually sing.] the lowest part of something:Footnotes are given at the bottom of each page. I waited for them at the bottom of the hill.base [usually sing.] the lowest part of something, especially the part or surface on which it rests or stands:The lamp has a heavy base.foundation [usually pl.] a layer of bricks, concrete, etc. that forms the solid underground base of a building:to lay the foundations of the new schoolfoot [sing.] the lowest part of something:At the foot of the stairs she turned to face him.bottom or foot? Foot is used to talk about a limited number of things: it is used most often with tree, hill/​mountain, steps/​stairs and page. Bottom can be used to talk about a much wider range of things, including those mentioned above for foot. Foot is generally used in more literary contexts.Patterns at/​near/​towards the bottom/​base/​foot of something on the bottom/​base of something (a) firm/​solid/​strong base/​foundation(s) Wordfindercement, construction, foundation, girder, joist, masonry, plaster, rubble, scaffolding, site See related entries: Construction, Structures
  2. 2  [countable, uncountable] a principle, an idea or a fact that something is based on and that it grows from Respect and friendship provide a solid foundation for marriage. The rumour is totally without foundation (= not based on any facts). These stories have no foundation (= are not based on any facts). Synonymsbasisfoundation baseThese are all words for the ideas or facts that something is based on.basis [usually sing.] a principle, an idea or a fact that supports something and that it can develop from:This article will form the basis for our discussion.foundation [C, U] a principle, an idea or a fact that supports something and that it develops from:Respect and friendship provide a solid foundation for marriage. The rumour is totally without foundation (= is not based on any facts).basis or foundation?Foundation is often used to talk about larger or more important things than basis:He laid the foundations of Japan’s modern economy. These figures formed the basis of their pay claim.base [usually sing.] an idea, a fact or a situation from which something is developed:His arguments have a sound economic base.Patterns a/​the basis/​foundation/​base for/​of something a secure/​solid/​sound/​strong/​weak basis/​foundation/​base to form the basis/​foundation/​base of something to be without basis/​foundation
  3. 3  [countable] an organization that is established to provide money for a particular purpose, for example for scientific research or charity The money will go to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. See related entries: Helping others
  4. 4  [uncountable] the act of starting a new institution or organization synonym establishment The organization has grown enormously since its foundation in 1955. She used the money to go towards the foundation of a special research group.
  5. 5[uncountable] a skin-coloured cream that is put on the face underneath other make-up Wordfinderblusher, cleanser, eyeliner, eyeshadow, foundation, lipstick, make-up, mascara, moisturizer, nail polish See related entries: Beauty products
  6. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French fondation, from Latin fundatio(n-), from fundare ‘to lay a base for’, from fundus ‘bottom, base’.Extra examples Concrete foundations have been laid. He believes terrorism undermines the very foundations of our society. In 1853 Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of the new palace. Rumours of his resignation are entirely without foundation. The Fine Arts degree starts with a foundation year. The foundation stone was laid in 1911. The peace treaty rests on shaky foundations. The scandal rocked the legal establishment to its foundations. The thunder seemed to shake the very foundations of the building. They had dug too deep and undermined the foundations of the house. This agreement laid a sound foundation for future cooperation between the two countries. We now have a firm foundation to build on. a charitable foundation established in 1983 a private foundation for sport and the arts an event which rocked the foundations of British politics digging trenches and laying concrete foundations malicious gossip which has no foundation malicious rumours which have no foundation providing a solid foundation for this new democracy He laid the foundation of Japan’s modern economy. Many of the hospitals were originally established by religious foundations. The research centre was set up by a charitable foundation. The rumour is totally without foundation. Worship is the foundation of all the Church’s activities.Idioms
    shake/rock the foundations of something, shake/rock something to its foundations
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    to cause people to question their basic beliefs about something This issue has shaken the foundations of French politics.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: foundation