- (of a ship, boat, etc.) to fill with water and sink.
- to fall or sink down, as buildings, ground, etc.: Built on a former lake bed, the building has foundered nearly ten feet.
- to become wrecked; fail utterly: The project foundered because public support was lacking.
- to stumble, break down, or go lame, as a horse: His mount foundered on the rocky path.
- to become ill from overeating.
- Veterinary Pathology. (of a horse) to suffer from laminitis.
- to cause to fill with water and sink: Rough seas had foundered the ship in mid-ocean.
- Veterinary Pathology. to cause (a horse) to break down, go lame, or suffer from laminitis.
- Veterinary Pathology. laminitis.
Origin of founder2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for foundering
Deshchytsia suggests the daylong Geneva talks came close to foundering.Ukraine Foreign Minister Speaks of Mistrust—and a Truce
April 19, 2014
Right at the epicenter of big time pop, music is foundering as a wealth enterprise.The Music Industry Is Dying? Great
December 26, 2013
Obama's lawyers are foundering in explaining the legal rationale for his Libyan adventure.The Lawless Presidency
June 29, 2011
The foundering Kraft buyout of Cadbury is the latest example of how corporate boards are costing us trillions.How Boards Are Destroying Corporations
David Zweig, John Gillespie
January 13, 2010
The GOP was foundering so badly, pundits talked in terms of “decades” of Democratic dominance.The GOP's Blacklist
November 24, 2009
They ought to have left before, when we had that narrow squeak from foundering.Youth
Written three days before the foundering of the Monitor off Hatteras, Dec. 31st 1862.Shoulder-Straps
And isn't Hodgson foundering my mare at this moment in chase of him?The Adventures of Harry Revel
Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
Had it fallen out, no human power could have prevented the ship from foundering.Captain Cook
If ye hang to the gunwale, is it my fault an ye be drowned in my foundering if I founder?'Privy Seal
Ford Madox Ford
- a person who establishes an institution, company, society, etc
- (of a ship) to sink
- to break down or failthe project foundered
- to sink into or become stuck in soft ground
- to fall in or give way; collapse
- (of a horse) to stumble or go lame
- archaic (of animals, esp livestock) to become ill from overeating
- vet science another name for laminitis
- a person who makes metal castings
- (in combination)an iron founder
Word Origin and History for foundering
early 14c., from Old French fondrer "collapse; submerge, sink, fall to the bottom," from fond "bottom," from Latin fundus "bottom, foundation" (see fund (n.)). Related: Foundered; foundering.
"one who establishes, one who sets up or institutes something," mid-14c., from Anglo-French fundur, Old French fondeor, from Latin fundator, agent noun from fundare (see found (v.1)).
"one who casts metal," c.1400, agent noun from found (v.2).
- To stumble, especially to stumble and go lame. Used of horses.
- To become ill from overeating. Used of livestock.
- To be afflicted with laminitis. Used of horses.