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  1. a receptacle, usually of stone, as in a baptistery or church, containing the water used in baptism.
  2. a receptacle for holy water; stoup.
  3. a productive source: The book is a font of useful tips for travelers.
  4. the reservoir for oil in a lamp.
  5. Archaic. a fountain.

Origin of font1

before 1000; Middle English; Old English font, fant < Latin font- (stem of fōns) baptismal font, spring, fountain


noun Printing.
  1. a complete assortment of type of one style and size.
Also British, fount.

Origin of font2

1570–80; < Middle French fonte < Vulgar Latin *funditus a pouring, molding, casting, verbal noun from Latin fundere to pour. See found3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for font


    1. a large bowl for baptismal water, usually mounted on a pedestal
    2. a receptacle for holy water
  1. the reservoir for oil in an oil lamp
  2. archaic, or poetic a fountain or well
Derived Formsfontal, adjective

Word Origin

Old English, from Church Latin fons, from Latin: fountain


  1. printing a complete set of type of one style and sizeAlso called: fount

Word Origin

C16: from Old French fonte a founding, casting, from Vulgar Latin funditus (unattested) a casting, from Latin fundere to melt; see found ³
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for font


"basin," Old English font, from Latin fons (genitive fontis) "fountain" (see fountain), especially in Medieval Latin fons baptismalis "baptismal font."


"typeface, set of letters of a particular type," 1680s, earlier "a casting" (1570s), from Middle French fonte "a casting," noun use of fem. past participle of fondre "to melt" (see found (v.2)). So called because all the letters in a given set were cast at the same time.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper