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 Accessible from the bottom floor is an outdoor spa in a private courtyard, complete with a fountain. Dallas News, "Yes, they’re really closets: See amazing wardrobe wonders from three posh North Texas homes," 1 May 2020 Straight ahead, hugged by tiers of crimson and gold, the famous Bolshoi stage, wide and deep enough to look like a medieval piazza, with a real fountain in the middle. Anastasia Edel, The New York Review of Books, "A Winter’s Night at the Bolshoi, 1985," 6 Mar. 2020 Outside is an eight-acre lake with a fountain and private dock. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "Former Texas mansion of Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders sees massive price cut," 12 Feb. 2020 These wide verandas hold plenty of Adirondack chairs to drink in the views of the grassy lawn with a fountain in the circular drive, and the backdrop of dramatically towering trees. Erika Mailman, Washington Post, "Visit Yosemite’s stunning Ahwahnee, but stay in the less crowded, less pricey Wawona," 20 Nov. 2019 Located in Chelsea, the five-story townhome also features four fireplaces, a garden with a fountain and a pond, plus a fully-equipped chef's kitchen. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Elaine's townhouse from 'Seinfeld' is on sale for $8.65 million," 12 Oct. 2019 New Yorkers can easily escape into their own private oasis by stepping into the lush green garden complete with a fountain and pond. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "Elaine Benes's Townhouse from Seinfeld Just Hit the Market for $8.65 Million," 10 Oct. 2019 If permits are granted, Kiva will sell gummies, mints and more infused with cannabis at a rustic confectionary at Grass Lands, complete with a chocolate fountain. Melia Russell,, "Pot at Outside Lands: SF festival seeks permit to light up," 24 July 2019 The formal dining room has French doors that open to an outdoor dining area with fountain. Lauren Beale,, "Actor John O’Hurley puts a retail price of $6.5 million on his Beverly Hills villa," 15 July 2019 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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fountain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 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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