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founder2

[foun-der]
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verb (used without object)
  1. (of a ship, boat, etc.) to fill with water and sink.
  2. to fall or sink down, as buildings, ground, etc.: Built on a former lake bed, the building has foundered nearly ten feet.
  3. to become wrecked; fail utterly: The project foundered because public support was lacking.
  4. to stumble, break down, or go lame, as a horse: His mount foundered on the rocky path.
  5. to become ill from overeating.
  6. Veterinary Pathology. (of a horse) to suffer from laminitis.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to fill with water and sink: Rough seas had foundered the ship in mid-ocean.
  2. Veterinary Pathology. to cause (a horse) to break down, go lame, or suffer from laminitis.
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noun
  1. Veterinary Pathology. laminitis.
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Origin of founder2

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

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3. collapse, perish, succumb, topple, sink; flop.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for foundering

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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

founder1

noun
  1. a person who establishes an institution, company, society, etc
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Word Origin

C14: see found ²

founder2

verb (intr)
  1. (of a ship) to sink
  2. to break down or failthe project foundered
  3. to sink into or become stuck in soft ground
  4. to fall in or give way; collapse
  5. (of a horse) to stumble or go lame
  6. archaic (of animals, esp livestock) to become ill from overeating
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noun
  1. vet science another name for laminitis
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Word Origin

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)

founder3

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

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.

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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)).

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founder

n.2

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

foundering in Medicine

founder

(foundər)
v.
  1. To stumble, especially to stumble and go lame. Used of horses.
  2. To become ill from overeating. Used of livestock.
  3. To be afflicted with laminitis. Used of horses.
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