Definition of foundation in English:



  • 1often foundationsThe lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level.

    ‘foundations were being dug for a block of flats’
    ‘build the arch resting on top of this solid foundation’
    • ‘In earthquake and hurricane areas there may be further requirements on how the piers are fastened to the foundations, the girders to the posts, and the joists to the girders.’
    • ‘This is done by placing different emitters in the soil next to the foundation, below the basement floor, and in the house.’
    • ‘Almost every house will have some concrete in its structure - even if it is just the foundations and ground floor.’
    • ‘Recent projects in Mexico and Nova Scotia have used gravel-filled bags as foundations for straw-bale walls to minimize rising damp.’
    • ‘Unlike buildings, where shifting foundations or leaky roofs are painfully obvious, golf course problems often are overlooked.’
    • ‘With a yawn that shook the building to its foundations, the woman pointed down a large corridor to yet another pair of double doors.’
    • ‘But seven years on, the only problem my warranty would touch were things concerning load-bearing structural parts; the foundations, floor and roof trusses.’
    • ‘It was an old building, green-painted with stone foundations and window frames.’
    • ‘Two workmen building foundations for a meeting room extension at Skipton's Holy Trinity Church discovered a gold coin which experts believed dated from the Saxon period.’
    • ‘Workmen began to dig foundations for new buildings, sometimes while the earth was still warm.’
    • ‘Third, locate the building where the foundation can be poured on undisturbed ground.’
    • ‘The magnificent Church of Our Lady of Victories was moved from its foundations and all smaller buildings in the church compound crumpled like a pack of cards.’
    • ‘They were digging building foundations, when they discovered 160 graves.’
    • ‘In 1989, construction workers demolishing an office building accidentally uncovered the foundations of the Rose theatre.’
    • ‘Parts of the foundations of this building and a section of the town wall and gateway are visible.’
    • ‘However, just four years later the library was forced to close its doors when the building's foundations started to sink and cracks appeared in the walls.’
    • ‘The surviving remains include parts of the main gate, on the east, and some excavated areas within the walls containing the foundations of domestic buildings, a small bath suite, and a sanctuary.’
    • ‘However, lowering groundwater level can cause damage to surrounding building foundations and hence extra measures should be taken prior to that.’
    • ‘As Fry cut the vinyl siding, the parkland around him was bustling with construction teams pouring concrete and building solid new foundations.’
    • ‘Through a door in the rear, they found a set of steps that went down below the foundation of the building.’
    footing, foot, base, substructure, understructure, underpinning
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    1. 1.1mass noun A coloured cream, powder, or liquid used as a base to even out facial skin tone before applying other cosmetics.
      ‘apply moisturizer a few minutes before using foundation’
      count noun ‘heavy foundations and concealers can contribute to dull skin and clogged pores’
      as modifier ‘a foundation brush’
      • ‘I couldn't help thinking that she could be quite gorgeous, if she did something with her hair, got contacts, and applied some serious foundation and lip gloss.’
      • ‘Now, high-tech foundations turn skin into a perfectly primed canvas, without a heavy-makeup look or feel.’
      • ‘There were creams, scrubs, conditioners, foundations, powders and all manner of strange devices with which to apply them.’
      • ‘I quickly threw on foundation, powder, mascara, eye shadow, and lipstick.’
      • ‘Mix a dime-size amount of foundation with a little moisturizer in the palm of your hand for a sheer, even finish.’
      • ‘But one thing that can help them look smaller almost instantly: the right foundation for your skin tone.’
      • ‘If lipstick looks too shiny on your eyelids, dust your lids with loose powder foundation to tone down the color.’
      • ‘They insisted on applying layers of foundation and concealer, but I tried to leave the room, and shrieked hysterically when either of them attempted to touch my face.’
      • ‘These days you can find SPF in foundations, powders and lipsticks.’
      • ‘With foundation, everything begins with the right color.’
      • ‘Oil-controlling moisturizers, makeup primers and foundations with added powders can also help absorb oil.’
      • ‘But this time, she was busy applying foundation to her skin.’
      • ‘I am careful to cover any imperfections or spots and apply the foundation using a cosmetic sponge.’
      • ‘Lipsticks, glosses, foundations and any other cosmetics with a greasy or wet feel tend to only last a year before they begin to smell waxy and rancid.’
      • ‘After evening out my skin tone with foundation and powder, Veronica dusted on a light bronzer for color and a soft pink blush to give my cheeks a rosy glow.’
      • ‘At Clinique, for example, they not only have a whole range of foundations especially for mature skin called Dewy Smooth, they also give you a mini make-up lesson.’
      • ‘Apply your usual foundation make-up or powder to cover any imperfections and even out your skin tone.’
      • ‘This colourless gel acts as a barrier between skin and foundation, making the base last longer and stay looking fresh.’
      • ‘Begin by applying your usual foundation and/or concealer.’
      • ‘For my make-up I had applied very little foundation, shimmering brown lipstick, and matching eye shadow.’
      cosmetics, greasepaint
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  • 2An underlying basis or principle.

    ‘this idea is the foundation of all modern economics’
    ‘without stability, the country will not be able hold the elections that will lay the foundation for a peaceful and democratic future’
    ‘physics, the foundation of all the sciences’
    • ‘Each paper is interesting in its own right and as a group they show that, even a century after he wrote, Henry George's ideas are taken seriously as a foundation for policy analysis.’
    • ‘Underneath the chaos, there remains a principle of order and wholeness, a foundation for hope.’
    • ‘Rather than being a ‘right’ on its own terms, it serves as a foundation for the explicit human rights of life, health, and an adequate standard of living.’
    • ‘It stressed the need for convergence of fiscal and monetary policies to serve as a foundation for a monetary union.’
    • ‘It seems to us, with the greatest respect, that it would have little or nothing to do with providing a foundation for the basis of the duty that has been contended for here.’
    • ‘It may provide the beginnings of a foundation for an integrated understanding of depression.’
    • ‘However, as we shall see in the discussion that follows, their theory was interpreted in a way that made it a foundation for economic reform policies.’
    • ‘The programme will gather facial scans, iris scans and fingerprints from 10,000 volunteers as a foundation for the scheme.’
    • ‘But the familiar areas of using the past as a foundation for poetic subjects and technique is observed in the central strengths of many American poets.’
    • ‘Cloud nine is not much of a foundation for effective policy making.’
    • ‘These two great pieces of legislation were the foundation of public health principles of our country.’
    • ‘This will provide you publications and a foundation for your dissertation.’
    • ‘AORN's underlying principles provide a foundation that helps serve as a guide in public policy issues perioperative nurses face and will face in the future.’
    • ‘It talks about the importance of having core principles as a foundation for how to work.’
    • ‘This will give us an elimination list for the registration campaign, as well as a foundation for the 2005 election canvassing that follows.’
    • ‘Does everyone in the newsroom understand which journalistic principles provide a foundation for the guideline?’
    • ‘Like the first incarnation of the band, it will provide part of a foundation for new admirers and for old fans to return to the fold.’
    • ‘The material provides a foundation for critical analysis.’
    • ‘It's part of the same theme that I like following, where I create timelines in order to provide a foundation for the stories that result from it.’
    • ‘But only an acknowledgement of the truth by all sides in this conflict can provide a foundation for peace.’
    basis, starting point, base, point of departure, beginning, premise
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    1. 2.1mass noun, often with negative Justification or reason.
      ‘misleading accusations with no foundation’
      • ‘But it cannot in my judgment be said that such a prohibition is without reasonable foundation.’
      • ‘Until they learn that lesson, any ideas of major expansion are without cause, foundation or worth.’
      • ‘There are rumours that Kevin is a better lure fisherman than Noel, but having studied the two brothers for a while I have to say that there is probably no foundation to the rumour.’
      • ‘They were just based on some report from a dodgy journalist, with probably no foundation whatsoever.’
      • ‘The unanimous response was that the entire argument was without foundation.’
      • ‘If the reasons make no sense and are without foundation then I should so rule.’
      • ‘So, once again, there was a failure or an absence of evidence to give foundation to an argument that there was a causal link.’
      • ‘In addition, the assertion that the documents might have been fabricated is without foundation and the argument is somewhat fanciful.’
      • ‘All three arguments are without legal foundation.’
      • ‘I am picking these items to show how editors accepted accusations without foundation, and name calling without caveat or caution.’
      justification, grounds, defence, reason, cause, mitigating circumstances, mitigation, extenuation, explanation, occasion, basis, motive, motivation, excuse, call, pretext, provocation
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  • 3mass noun The action of establishing an institution or organization.

    ‘the foundation of a civil service college’
    • ‘The Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences was founded in Kiev in 1934 and Grave served as the first director of the Institute from its foundation until his death in 1939.’
    • ‘Values are a very large part of the culture and foundation of any organization.’
    • ‘Larry was given a special Comhaltas award last year for his extraordinary service to the organisation since its foundation in 1951.’
    founding, establishing, setting up, starting, initiation, institution, forming, creation, launch, flotation, origination, development, inauguration, constitution, endowment
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    1. 3.1count noun An institution established with an endowment, for example a research body or charity.
      ‘charitable foundations’
      • ‘In the '90s, a whole crowd of the newly rich started private nonprofit foundations.’
      • ‘The society established a charitable foundation in 1997 in a bid to bring to an end the chaos in branches.’
      • ‘Further, political parties should pass any donations from tobacco companies to cancer research foundations.’
      • ‘Our funding will come from charities, foundations, trade unions and private individuals.’
      • ‘More resources are being directed from governments, foundations, the recently established Global Fund and the private sector.’
      • ‘The company also contributed to foundations looking into pain research, pharmacy schools and Internet sites aimed at educating consumers.’
      • ‘For those students who do not receive an award, there are several options available such as charitable trusts, foundations, and corporate sponsorship.’
      • ‘Many of the them are also given not by the university but by different foundations and institutions.’
      • ‘Both donors have established charitable foundations in their own names, and each has a long history of assisting the needy and supporting the arts.’
      • ‘Immigration consultants, placement service agencies and research foundations are also participating in the fair.’
      • ‘The amendment bill also provides in details the time line within which a foundation must obtain body corporate status, which is not clear under the existing law.’
      • ‘If not she will have to find the cash and is already writing to foundations, charities and companies for help and advice.’
      • ‘But I'd also establish a philanthropic foundation and give a lot away to charitable causes.’
      • ‘She lectures to corporations, foundations and educational institutions.’
      • ‘In total 24 of 25 trusts applying to become foundations were approved yesterday by Health Secretary John Reid.’
      • ‘It is excellent news, then, that the Bulls have decided to build on the success of this programme by establishing a charitable foundation.’
      • ‘Funding for the Campbell Collaboration also comes from major research foundations, research charities, private philanthropists, and government sources.’
      • ‘The campaign earned support from a wide variety of corporations, government agencies, foundations and associations.’
      • ‘Contact Pittsburgh, a nonprofit, is supported by donations from charitable foundations, corporate businesses and individuals.’
      • ‘Gene donated his prize monies to ecological research and education foundations, mainly at The University of Georgia.’
      endowed institution, institution, charitable body, funding agency, source of funds
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Late Middle English: from Old French fondation, from Latin fundatio(n-), from fundare ‘to lay a base for’ (see found).