Definition of fountain in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfaʊntɪn/


1An ornamental structure in a pool or lake from which one or more jets of water are pumped into the air.
Example sentences
  • Non-living structures include equipment, statues, urns, fountains and pools of water.
  • In the centre, an ornamental pond displays more fountains and more light, water reflecting off water to create an infinite array of mirror image distortion.
  • The enjoyment of water was evident in garden grottoes and nymphae structures in which fountains, cascades and pools were choreographed to create an appropriately sybaritic milieu.
jet, spray, spout, spurt, well, fount, cascade
1.1A thing that spurts or cascades into the air: little fountains of dust
More example sentences
  • A fountain of sparks spurted up, falling in a shower around the boy, bent over in concentration.
  • It seemed as if fountains of dust were pouring from the sky, falling gently, flickering in the sunlight.
  • The fire adjusted itself with a crash, sending up a fountain of sparks.
2chiefly literary A natural spring of water.
Example sentences
  • The mineral water of the numerous fountains, natural springs and wells, have an almost uniform chemical composition, temperature and sulphide content.
  • In this tiny, narrow gorge, under the cool shade of the palms, a fountain of hot spring water feeds a warm, thigh-deep pool, where inch-long fish nibble my feet.
  • Along the way they stopped at a fountain and drank some spring water.
2.1A source of a desirable quality: the government always quote this report as the fountain of truth
More example sentences
  • We need to start the fountain of truth before we all die of thirst.
  • If he finds the fountain of youth, the Spurs have a shot.
  • Therefore, consumers should not expect to find a fountain of youth in a jar.
source, fount, fountainhead, well head, wellspring, well;
reservoir, fund, mass, mine, repository
informal walking encyclopedia
3 Heraldry A roundel barry wavy argent and azure (i.e. a circle with wavy horizontal stripes of white and blue).


[no object]
Spurt or cascade like a fountain: a river of cold air fountained into the hold
More example sentences
  • This was followed, between 9 May and 13 July, by 15 episodes of lava fountaining, which were essentially a repetition of those of the preceding year.
  • The blast of high explosive sent a cloud of dust fountaining into the air.
  • Water, gallons and gallons of it, was still bubbling and fountaining up and around him.


the fountain of youth

A legendary fountain supposed to guarantee eternal youth to anyone who drinks from it: while yogurt may not be the fountain of youth, it is exceptionally good for you
More example sentences
  • I may be sitting here right now holding back the fountain of youth.
  • In fact, exercise is the closest thing you'll find to the fountain of youth.
  • Thousands of seniors believe they've found the fountain of youth.



adjective ( literary)
Example sentences
  • From here we observed the mime artists performing in the glorious fountained gardens.
  • The beautiful, fountained square and quaint nearby petites rues are filled with places to eat and drink, and basically make nightlife here.


Middle English (in sense 2 of the noun): from Old French fontaine, from late Latin fontana, feminine of Latin fontanus, adjective from fons, font- 'a spring'.

  • A fountain was originally used to mean a natural spring of water rather than an artificial one, and comes from Latin fontana ‘spring’. Fount ‘source’ (the French for ‘spring’, in English from the Late Middle Ages) was formed in English in the late 16th century. The baptismal font (Old English) comes from the same root, although the printing font (late 16th century), made from melted and cast metal, comes from fondre ( see found).

Words that rhyme with fountain


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: foun|tain

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