fountainhead

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noun foun·tain·head \ˈfau̇n-tən-ˌhed\

Definition of fountainhead

  1. 1 :  a spring that is the source of a stream

  2. 2 :  principal source :  origin

fountainhead was our Word of the Day on 05/10/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of fountainhead in a Sentence

  1. the fountainhead of the faith

  2. historically, California has served as the fountainhead of that eclectic group of self-actualization movements known as the New Age

Recent Examples of fountainhead from the Web

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

Did You Know?

When it first entered English in the late 1500s, fountainhead was used only in a literal sense-to refer to the source of a stream. By the early 1600s, however, it was already beginning to be used figuratively in reference to any original or primary source. In his 1854 work Walden, Henry David Thoreau used the word in its figurative sense, while paying full homage to its literal meaning as well: "Morning air! If men will not drink of this at the fountainhead of the day, why, then, we must even bottle up some and sell it in the shops, for the benefit of those who have lost their subscription ticket to morning time in this world."

First Known Use of fountainhead

1585


FOUNTAINHEAD Defined for English Language Learners

fountainhead

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noun

Definition of fountainhead for English Language Learners

  • : the origin or source of something



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lacking social experience or grace

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