Definition of fountain in English:



  • 1An ornamental structure in a pool or lake from which one or more jets of water are pumped into the air.

    • ‘A timed fountain gushes water in changing patterns; it looks almost as though the water were dancing.’
    • ‘However, the large stone fountain in front was still running, shooting water from three different places.’
    • ‘I am perched on an old stone fountain surrounded by red flowers when the phone rings.’
    • ‘The musical dancing fountain offers a synchronised rhythmic ballet of water, sound and lights.’
    • ‘And the fountains burbling in the background are very soothing.’
    • ‘Non-living structures include equipment, statues, urns, fountains and pools of water.’
    • ‘There were floating candles that decorated the pool and the fountain, as well as ornamental flowers arrangements.’
    • ‘Soon, Talia saw a beautiful marble fountain with water shooting up from its top and then splashing back down.’
    • ‘He sat by the fountain in the garden in the center of the school.’
    • ‘According to the plan, the water supply to fountains, swimming pools or for street cleaning was cut.’
    • ‘A small fountain, a pool of water or a miniature waterfall adds to the charm of rock gardens.’
    • ‘We soon came to a large village square with a beautiful fountain in the center.’
    • ‘There was a huge circular fountain in front of it.’
    • ‘He rested five feet away on a bench surrounding a stone fountain, a cigarette held limp within two fingers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was a large water fountain in the middle.’
    • ‘The main facade will feature a curving glass wall that encloses the cafe, and a ‘wall of water’ created by rectangular pools with pencil-jet fountains.’
    • ‘He noticed the large water fountain in the middle and felt a little vengeful.’
    • ‘A white marble fountain was rooted in the middle of wide white marble stairs leading to the second story.’
    jet, spray, spout, spurt, well, fount, cascade
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A thing that spurts or cascades into the air.
      ‘little fountains of dust’
      • ‘It seemed as if fountains of dust were pouring from the sky, falling gently, flickering in the sunlight.’
      • ‘The poker circled slowly, sending up fountains of sparks.’
      • ‘A fountain of sparks spurted up, falling in a shower around the boy, bent over in concentration.’
      • ‘The fire adjusted itself with a crash, sending up a fountain of sparks.’
  • 2literary A natural spring of water.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A gravel road, along the course of which there are many fountains and springs, leads after a journey of about one and a half to two hours to Haydushki Polyani, noted for its dam, and in season, meadows of flowers.’
    • ‘The fountains and water channels will spring to life.’
    • ‘Along the way they stopped at a fountain and drank some spring water.’
    • ‘The mineral water of the numerous fountains, natural springs and wells, have an almost uniform chemical composition, temperature and sulphide content.’
    1. 2.1 A source of a desirable quality.
      ‘the government always quote this report as the fountain of truth’
      • ‘Therefore, consumers should not expect to find a fountain of youth in a jar.’
      • ‘To him, water seemed like a fountain of knowledge and a symbol of life.’
      • ‘We need to start the fountain of truth before we all die of thirst.’
      • ‘From attitude and ambition springs forth a fountain of possibility.’
      • ‘If he finds the fountain of youth, the Spurs have a shot.’
      source, fount, fountainhead, well head, wellspring, well
      View synonyms
  • 3Heraldry
    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’
    • ‘Volcanic bombs were thrown hundreds of meters above the crater prior to and during the fountaining.’
    • ‘Lava fountaining up to 120 m in height has built a large cone approximately 50 m high and 500 m in diameter.’
    • ‘The fountaining is randomly cyclical with a period of several minutes between eruptions.’
    • ‘Lava fountaining has given place to sporadic strombolian activity at the row of the upper vents.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Water, gallons and gallons of it, was still bubbling and fountaining up and around him.’
    • ‘During the night of 16-17 July, the sixteenth episode of lava fountaining occurred at the SE Crater, accompanied by the emission of a minor lava flow.’
    • ‘The blast of high explosive sent a cloud of dust fountaining into the air.’
    • ‘Masonry blocks and flaming wood fountained out and choking smoke poured down the corridor, fire swirling in its wake.’
    spurt, shoot, spray, spritz, fountain, jet, erupt
    View synonyms


  • 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’
      • ‘No matter how wistfully we may long for the fountain of youth, the fact is that Laws of Thermodynamics are irrefutable.’
      • ‘In fact, exercise is the closest thing you'll find to the fountain of youth.’
      • ‘I may be sitting here right now holding back the fountain of youth.’
      • ‘Obviously, you have drunk from the fountain of youth.’
      • ‘Just goes to show that bodybuilding really is the fountain of youth.’
      • ‘Suzanne strongly believes that daily activity is the fountain of youth.’
      • ‘I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth.’
      • ‘Thousands of seniors believe they've found the fountain of youth.’
      • ‘It is considered by some to be the fountain of youth.’
      • ‘Hormone replacement therapy is second only to vitamin supplements in popularity among those seeking the fountain of youth.’


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