founder

noun (1)
found·​er | \ ˈfau̇n-dər How to pronounce founder (audio) \

Definition of founder

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: one that founds or establishes the founder of a company the founder of psychoanalysis

founder

verb
foun·​der | \ ˈfau̇n-dər How to pronounce founder (audio) \
foundered; foundering\ ˈfau̇n-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce founder (audio) \

Definition of founder (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to become disabled especially : to go lame
2 : to give way : collapse
3 : to become submerged : sink
4 : to come to grief : fail

transitive verb

: to disable (an animal) especially by excessive feeding

founder

noun (2)
foun·​der | \ ˈfau̇n-dər How to pronounce founder (audio) \

Definition of founder (Entry 3 of 4)

founder

noun (3)
found·​er | \ ˈfau̇n-dər How to pronounce founder (audio) \

Definition of founder (Entry 4 of 4)

: one that founds metal especially : typefounder

Did you know?

Founder is related to Latin fundus, meaning "bottom" or "base." When something "founders," it usually hits the bottom in one sense or another. When a ship founders, it sinks to the bottom of the sea, for example, and if your endeavor is foundering, it isn't doing well and is therefore headed downward.

Examples of founder in a Sentence

Verb Her career foundered, and she moved from job to job for several years. trying to save a foundering career

First Known Use of founder

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1547, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for founder

Noun (1)

Middle English foundour, borrowed from Anglo-French fundur, foundour, going back to Latin fundātor, from fundāre "to found entry 4" + -tor, agent suffix

Verb

Middle English fondrer "to fall to the ground, stumble, sink," borrowed from Anglo-French fundrer "to destroy," probably back-formation from enfondrer, esfondrer, affondrer "to sink, send to the bottom," prefixed forms based on Old French -fondrer, going back to Vulgar Latin *-fundorāre, verbal derivative of Late Latin fundor-, variant stem of Latin fundus "bottom, base" — more at bottom entry 1

Note: The simple verb fundrer (as opposed to prefixed forms) is marginally attested in Anglo-French, its senses partially merged with fondre going back to Latin fundere (see found entry 5), which in addition to its basic meanings "to pour, cast" had already in Classical Latin the extended meanings "to scatter, disperse, rout" and "to lay low, slay."

Noun (2)

derivative of founder entry 2

Noun (3)

Middle English foundour, borrowed from Anglo-French foundur, foundour, from fondre "to melt, cast, found entry 5" + -ur, -our -er entry 2

Learn More About founder

Time Traveler for founder

Time Traveler

The first known use of founder was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near founder

foundation stop

founder

founder effect

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Cite this Entry

“Founder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/founder. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for founder

founder

noun
found·​er | \ ˈfau̇n-dər How to pronounce founder (audio) \

Kids Definition of founder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who creates or establishes something the country's founders

founder

verb
foun·​der | \ ˈfau̇n-dər How to pronounce founder (audio) \
foundered; foundering

Kids Definition of founder (Entry 2 of 2)

: sink entry 1 sense 1 a foundering ship

founder

verb
foun·​der | \ ˈfau̇n-dər How to pronounce founder (audio) \
foundered; foundering\ -​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce founder (audio) \

Medical Definition of founder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to become disabled especially : to go lame

transitive verb

: to disable (an animal) especially by inducing laminitis through excessive feeding

founder

noun
foun·​der

Medical Definition of founder (Entry 2 of 2)

founder

noun
found·​er

Legal Definition of founder

: one that founds or establishes: as
a : one that establishes a foundation

More from Merriam-Webster on founder

Nglish: Translation of founder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of founder for Arabic Speakers

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