foun·tain | \ˈfau̇n-tᵊn \

Definition of fountain 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the source from which something proceeds or is supplied

2 : a spring of water issuing from the earth

3 : an artificially produced jet of water also : the structure from which it rises

4 : a reservoir containing a liquid that can be drawn off as needed


fountained; fountaining; fountains

Definition of fountain (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to flow or spout like a fountain

transitive verb

: to cause to flow like a fountain

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Examples of fountain in a Sentence


The crowd gathered around the fountain in the plaza. an endless fountain of inspiration

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Alejandro Figueroa can't get water at the drinking fountains at Alejandro Oropeza Castillo Adventist Institute. Belinda Soncini, miamiherald, "When Venezuelan teachers abandon low-pay jobs, parents are forced to become the teachers," 26 June 2018 Luckily, the Stanley McCormick Memorial Court, affectionately known as the the Art Institute’s South Garden, is an oasis of raised concrete beds, canopying trees and a reflecting pool with water splashing down from its interior fountains. Christen A. Johnson,, "6 great outdoor spots to read this summer in Chicago," 21 May 2018 The glaciers creep Like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains, Slow rolling on … in scorn of mortal power Shelley saw glaciers as predatory, immortal forces, eternal beings, before whose might mere humans quaked. Rob Nixon, Smithsonian, "Climate Change Can Also Transform Language," 23 Mar. 2018 Fountain Valley is moving forward with a plan to potentially spend more than a quarter-million dollars to awaken its dormant City Hall fountain, though less than half of that is currently budgeted. Hillary Davis,, "$260,000 plan to restore Fountain Valley's City Hall fountain overflows current budget," 7 Mar. 2018 One of its fountains trickles on the edge of the Safeway parking lot. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "Legendary Sacramento movie theater gets star treatment in new documentary," 16 Feb. 2018 American smartphone owners on limited plans use an average of 4.3GB a month, according to consumer-tracking service NPD, and don’t need an endless data fountain. Joanna Stern, WSJ, "Shopping for an Unlimited Smartphone Plan? Know Their Limits," 28 June 2018 City Green has seating, tables and swings; interactive fountains for children, and a half-acre lawn, officials said. David Ibata, ajc, "Sandy Springs restricts dogs at City Springs," 20 June 2018 Novel NoDa has a salt water pool with outdoor grill stations and lounge chairs that sit above an LED-light fountain. Ely Portillo And Hannah Lang, charlotteobserver, "There's an 'arms race' to lure renters, and it now involves pet spas and beer gardens," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Starting May 3, Kilauea has fountained lava and flung ash and rocks from its summit, destroying hundreds of homes, closing key highways, and prompting health warnings. Sophia Yan And Malcolm Ritter, The Christian Science Monitor, "Hawaii volcano spews out lava ... and information for scientists," 7 June 2018 Geologists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say that lava is consistently fountaining from Fissure 8, reaching heights up to 180 feet, feeding the flow. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Photo Updates From Kilauea: Dozens More Homes Destroyed," 6 June 2018 Scientists say the lava leaking from the Kilauea volcano is fountaining up to 250 feet in the air and flowing at much higher-than-normal temperatures. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "New evacuations ordered on Hawaii's Big Island as lava flows from volcano threaten roads, destroy homes," 1 June 2018 Volcano scientists are also captivated, like much of the general public, by the sheer spectacle of the eruption: visions of red-hot lava fountaining out of cracks in the Earth and towering columns of ash shooting five miles into the sky. Author: Scott Wilson, Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "As Kilauea erupts, volcanologists swarm: ‘I expect great science from this event’," 24 May 2018 The lava from these fissures can sometimes fountain high into the air, driven by pressurized gases that also escape through the fissures, but there is no plume of ash. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Here’s what’s going on with Hawaii’s erupting volcano," 11 May 2018 Lava fountains 300 ft high during May 5 fissure eruption in Leilani Estates. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Rivers of lava in Hawaii produce amazing photos — and a warning: Please don't die | The Sacramento Bee," 7 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fountain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fountain


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1903, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for fountain


Middle English, from Anglo-French funtaine, fontaine, from Late Latin fontana, from Latin, feminine of fontanus of a spring, from font-, fons

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Phrases Related to fountain

fountain of youth

water fountain

Statistics for fountain

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fountain

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

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More Definitions for fountain



English Language Learners Definition of fountain

: a device or structure that sends a stream of water into the air in a garden, park, etc.; also : the water that rises from a fountain

: something that rises into the air like a fountain of water

: the source of something


foun·tain | \ˈfau̇n-tᵊn \

Kids Definition of fountain

1 : an artificial stream or spray of water (as for drinking or ornament) or the device from which it comes

2 : source sense 1 He was a fountain of wisdom.

3 : a spring of water coming from the earth

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Comments on fountain

What made you want to look up fountain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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