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foundation (n.)

late 14c., "action of founding," from Old French fondacion "foundation" (14c.) or directly from Late Latin fundationem (nominative fundatio) "a founding," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin fundare "to lay a bottom or foundation" (see found (v.1)). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by staþol.

Specialized sense of "establishment of an institution with an endowment to pay for it" is from late 14c.; meaning "that which is founded" (a college, hospital, etc.) is from 1510s; meaning "funds endowed for benevolent or charitable purposes" is from early 15c. Sense of "solid base of a structure" is from early 15c. The cosmetics sense of "colored cream applied to the face to make it appear uniform in color and texture" is by 1931, probably short for foundation cream or foundation makeup.

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Definitions of foundation from WordNet

foundation (n.)
the basis on which something is grounded;
there is little foundation for his objections
foundation (n.)
an institution supported by an endowment;
foundation (n.)
lowest support of a structure;
Synonyms: base / fundament / foot / groundwork / substructure / understructure
foundation (n.)
education or instruction in the fundamentals of a field of knowledge;
he lacks the foundation necessary for advanced study
Synonyms: grounding
foundation (n.)
the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained;
foundation (n.)
a woman's undergarment worn to give shape to the contours of the body;
Synonyms: foundation garment
foundation (n.)
the act of starting something for the first time; introducing something new;
the foundation of a new scientific society
From wordnet.princeton.edu