foun·​tain | \ ˈfau̇n-tᵊn How to pronounce fountain (audio) \

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

Noun The crowd gathered around the fountain in the plaza. an endless fountain of inspiration
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An 8-acre expansion adding the Greehey Lawn, an education and event center and a large fountain was completed in March — just in time for the botanical garden to close because of coronavirus shutdowns. Richard Marini,, "San Antonio Botanical Garden serving as a refuge from the coronavirus pandemic that just won’t go away," 31 July 2020 The commission will also begin discussions on a new name for the fountain. Washington Post, "Former KKK leader David Duke permanently banned from Twitter," 31 July 2020 The 17-acre grounds include a rose garden with more than 300 rose bushes, a fountain and copper roofed tea house, an English style perennial garden, and a tribute garden with various annuals and perennial plants, the release said. Emma Dale, Detroit Free Press, "Grounds and gardens at Henry Ford's Fair Lane estate reopen," 2 July 2020 The separate caterer’s kitchen has a Halsey Taylor water fountain, additional Sub-Zero, second dishwasher, disposal, double ovens and a sonic-style ice machine. Emilia Benton, Houston Chronicle, "Prime Property: Hunters Creek Village home offers classic features," 11 July 2020 Instead, county officials voted to cover up the wording on each fountain with historical plaques. Fox News, "Mississippi officials explore removal of formerly segregated water fountains," 10 July 2020 Forget the fountain of youth, Khloe Kardashian may have found a new alternative for looking young. Nicholas Rice,, "Khloe Kardashian Says She Looks 'So Young' While Modeling Scott Disick’s Talentless Label Hoodie," 8 July 2020 This is a reasonable assumption if only because the fountain of money thrown off by Web-search advertising leaves a lot of room for laziness and mistakes in other sectors of the business. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Girls Who Code looks to hard hit rural areas this summer," 29 June 2020 Pictured above, a fountain provides relief from the summer heat in Queens, New York, in July 2019. Pete Mcbride, National Geographic, "What did dinosaur eggs look like?," 17 June 2020 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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Time Traveler for fountain

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fountain

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fountain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for fountain


How to pronounce fountain (audio)

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 How to pronounce fountain (audio) \

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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