[ foun-tn ]
/ ˈfaʊn tn /


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

Examples from the Web for fountain

British Dictionary definitions for fountain


/ (ˈfaʊntɪn) /


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