See more synonyms for fountain on
  1. a spring or source of water; the source or head of a stream.
  2. the source or origin of anything.
  3. a jet or stream of water (or other liquid) made by mechanical means to spout or rise from an opening or structure, as to afford water for use, to cool the air, or to serve for ornament.
  4. a structure for discharging such a jet or a number of jets, often an elaborate or artistic work with basins, sculptures, etc.
  5. drinking fountain.
  6. soda fountain.
  7. a reservoir for a liquid to be supplied gradually or continuously, as in a fountain pen.
  8. Heraldry. a roundel barry-wavy, argent and azure.

Origin of fountain

1375–1425; late Middle English fontayne < Old French fontaine < Late Latin fontāna, noun use of feminine of Latin fontānus of a spring, equivalent to font- (stem of fons) spring + -ānus -an
Related formsfoun·tained, adjectivefoun·tain·less, adjectivefoun·tain·like, adjectiveun·foun·tained, adjective

Synonyms for fountain

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fountain

Contemporary Examples of fountain

Historical Examples of fountain

British Dictionary definitions for fountain


  1. a jet or spray of water or some other liquid
  2. a structure from which such a jet or a number of such jets spurt, often incorporating figures, basins, etc
  3. a natural spring of water, esp the source of a stream
  4. a stream, jet, or cascade of sparks, lava, etc
  5. a principal source or origin
  6. a reservoir or supply chamber, as for oil in a lamp
  7. short for drinking fountain, soda fountain
Derived Formsfountained, adjectivefountainless, adjectivefountain-like, adjective

Word Origin for fountain

C15: from Old French fontaine, from Late Latin fontāna, from Latin fons spring, source
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 fountain

early 15c., "spring of water that collects in a pool," from Old French fontaine "natural spring" (12c.), from Late Latin fontana "fountain, spring" (source of Spanish and Italian fontana), from noun use of fem. of Latin fontanus "of a spring," from fons (genitive fontis) "spring (of water);" cognate with Sanskrit dhanvati "flows, runs."

The extended sense of "artificial jet of water" (and the structures that make them) is first recorded c.1500. "A French fountain-pen is described in 1658 and Miss Burney used one in 1789" [Weekley].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper