founder

2
[foun-der]
||

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

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.

noun

Veterinary Pathology. laminitis.

Origin of founder

2
1300–50; Middle English foundren < Middle French fondrer to plunge to the bottom, submerge < Vulgar Latin *fundorāre, derivative of *fundor-, taken as stem of Latin fundus bottom
Related formsun·foun·dered, adjectiveun·foun·der·ing, adjective

Synonyms for founder

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for foundering

Contemporary Examples of foundering

Historical Examples of foundering

  • They ought to have left before, when we had that narrow squeak from foundering.

    Youth

    Joseph Conrad

  • Written three days before the foundering of the Monitor off Hatteras, Dec. 31st 1862.

    Shoulder-Straps

    Henry Morford

  • 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

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for foundering

founder

1

noun

a person who establishes an institution, company, society, etc

Word Origin for founder

C14: see found ²

founder

2

verb (intr)

(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

noun

vet science another name for laminitis

Word Origin for founder

C13: from Old French fondrer to submerge, from Latin fundus bottom; see found ²

usage

Founder is sometimes wrongly used where flounder is meant: this unexpected turn of events left him floundering (not foundering)

founder

3

noun

  1. a person who makes metal castings
  2. (in combination)an iron founder

Word Origin for founder

C15: 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 foundering

founder

v.

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.

founder

n.1

"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)).

founder

n.2

"one who casts metal," c.1400, agent noun from found (v.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

foundering in Medicine

founder

[foundər]

v.

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.

n.

laminitis
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.