Definition of fountainhead
1 : a spring that is the source of a stream
2 : principal source : origin
Examples of fountainhead in a sentence
the fountainhead of the faith
<historically, California has served as the fountainhead of that eclectic group of self-actualization movements known as the New Age>
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
FOUNTAINHEAD Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of fountainhead for English Language Learners
: the origin or source of something
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up fountainhead? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).