See also: Fountain


A fountain in Stockholm, Sweden
A fountain in Granada, Spain


From Middle English [Term?]; from Old French fontaine (whence modern fontaine); from Late Latin fontana, from Latin fontanus, fontaneus, adjectives from fons (source, spring).


  • IPA(key): /ˈfaʊ̩/[1]
  • (US) IPA(key): [ˈfaʊn.ʔn̩]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊntɪn


fountain (plural fountains)

  1. (originally) A natural source of water; a spring.
  2. An artificial, usually ornamental, water feature (usually in a garden or public place) consisting of one or more streams of water originating from a statue or other structure.
  3. The structure from which an artificial fountain can issue.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “Ep./4/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days, OL 1519647W:
      As they turned into Hertford Street they startled a robin from the poet's head on a barren fountain, and he fled away with a cameo note.
  4. A reservoir from which liquid can be drawn.
    • 1907, Barbara Baynton, Sally Krimmer; Alan Lawson, editors, Human Toll (Portable Australian Authors: Barbara Baynton), St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, published 1980, page 208:
      They heard her rouse the sleeping servant, and with her enter the kitchen; then the noise of a fire being lighted and the fountain being filled came to the watchers.
  5. A source or origin of a flow (e.g., of favors or knowledge).
    • 1700, Tom Brown, Amusements Serious and Comical, calculated for the Meridian of London, page 5:
      Nothing will pleaſe ſome Men, but Books ſtuff’d with Antiquity, groaning under the weight of Learned Quotations drawn from the Fountains: And what is all this but Pilfering.
  6. (heraldry) A roundel barry wavy argent and azure.
  7. (juggling) A juggling pattern typically done with an even number of props where each prop is caught by the same hand that throws it.
  8. (US) A soda fountain.
    • 2014, Danielle Sarver Coombs, ‎Bob Batchelor, We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life... and Always Has (page 222)
      He takes out a soup bowl, fills it with Pepsi from the fountain, and places it carefully on the counter in front of the boy. “That'll be a quarter,” he says professionally.
    • 2018, Chris Grabenstein, Sandapalooza Shake-up, New York: Random House, →ISBN, page 67:
      A Sproke was a soft drink Gloria and I had created with Jimbo’s help at the Banana Shack. It was basically fountain Coke mixed with fountain Sprite.
  9. (US) A drink poured from a soda fountain, or the cup it is poured into.
  10. A ground-based firework that projects sparks similar to a water fountain.
  11. (figurative) Anything that resembles a fountain in operation.
    • 1962 June, Cecil J. Allen, “Locomotive Running Past and Present”, in Modern Railways, page 399:
      Travellers over the London & North Western main line in bygone days will need no reminder of the pattering of cinders on the carriage roofs, the fountains of sparks from the chimneys at night and the distance from which the exhaust of approaching locomotives could be heard, due to the fierceness of their blast in such conditions.


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


fountain (third-person singular simple present fountains, present participle fountaining, simple past and past participle fountained)

  1. (intransitive) To flow or gush as if from a fountain.
    Lava fountained from the volcano.
    • 1978, Tom Reamy, Blind Voices
      The fireflies swept toward him from all directions, in streams and rivers and currents of light, a vortex a hundred yards across, spiraling into the brighter center. They met over his supine body like ocean breakers, cascading, fountaining into the air.



  1. ^ fountain”, in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.

Further readingEdit