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 The true gem of the property, the private lake, boasts all of the amenities of a real water park including a beach entry, grotto, rock waterfall, water slide, zipline, fountain and outdoor palapa. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Just-listed $5M Richmond estate comes with a stunning private lake water park," 5 Nov. 2019 The grandeur of Caesars Palace, with its frothing fountain and polished Roman colonnades, was swapped for the hot and dusty tarmac of the hotel's parking lot. Sarah Holt, CNN, "When the US Grand Prix was staged in a Las Vegas parking lot," 31 Oct. 2019 Cylindrical pillars will blow cool air in an open courtyard featuring water fountains and a sun-blocking canopy can be closed on windy days. Steven Mufson, The Denver Post, "Facing unbearable heat, Qatar has begun to air condition the outdoors," 20 Oct. 2019 All over Italy, tourists are facing fines for infractions such as stealing sand, jumping into fountains and picnicking in inappropriate places. Natalie B. Compton,, "A selfie ban in the Czech Republic is the latest effort to combat bad tourist behavior," 18 Oct. 2019 Cylindrical pillars will blow cool air in an open courtyard featuring water fountains and a sun-blocking canopy can be closed on windy days. Salwan Georges, Washington Post, "Facing unbearable heat, Qatar has begun to air-condition the outdoors," 16 Oct. 2019 Outside, fountains and built-in fireplaces surround an infinity-edge swimming pool. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Basketball legend Michael Jordan lists modern Utah retreat for $7.5 million," 14 Oct. 2019 Hikers can also enjoy six new restrooms, more drinking fountains and water bottle fill stations, two renovated ramadas and a new ranger station, according to Joshua Parnell, Park Manager for Phoenix. Alyssa Stoney, azcentral, "New bridge highlights upgrades to reopened Piestewa Peak trailhead," 4 Oct. 2019 Yoda statue at Lucasfilm With apologies to the Golden Gate Bridge, Ferry Building and Oracle Park, the most Instagram-able location in San Francisco is the Yoda fountain and statue. Peter Hartlaub,, "A 49 Mile Scenic Drive manifesto: 15 ways to build a better route," 10 Sep. 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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Statistics for fountain

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for fountain

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

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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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