a fountain or spring from which a stream flows; the head or source of a stream.
a chief source of anything: a fountainhead of information.

Origin of fountainhead

First recorded in 1575–85; fountain + head Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fountainhead

Contemporary Examples of fountainhead

  • In 1949 his wife Lauren Bacall was slated to star alongside Gary Cooper in the adaptation of Rand's The Fountainhead.

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    Great Weekend Reads

    The Daily Beast

    April 23, 2011

  • To RJ Eskow of the Campaign for America's Future, his plan is " The Fountainhead meets Death Race 2000."

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    Big-Spending Budget Hawk

    Benjamin Sarlin

    July 29, 2010

  • Pauline Kael nailed The Fountainhead, both the novel and the film made from it, as “wildly extravagant Kitsch.”

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    Capitalism's Wicked Witch

    Allen Barra

    November 27, 2009

Historical Examples of fountainhead

British Dictionary definitions for fountainhead



a spring that is the source of a stream
a principal or original 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 fountainhead

"spring from which a stream flows," 1580s, from fountain + head (n.). Figurative use is from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper