Main definitions of founder in US English:

: founder1founder2founder3founder4

founder1

noun

  • A person who manufactures articles of cast metal; the owner or operator of a foundry.

    ‘an iron founder’
    • ‘But Mr Milner, director of Keighley iron founders Leach and Thompson, said there were dozens of examples of manufacturers in the district switching jobs overseas.’
    • ‘By 1840 business directories in New York City listed thirteen iron founders, and sixteen the following year.’

Origin

Middle English: probably from Old French fondeur, from fondre (see found).

Pronunciation

founder

/ˈfaʊndər//ˈfoundər/

Main definitions of founder in US English:

: founder1founder2founder3founder4

founder2

noun

  • A person who establishes an institution or settlement.

    ‘he was the founder of modern Costa Rica’
    • ‘We usually invest $6000n in each company, where n is the number of participating founders.’
    • ‘He was also a founder member of Clonmore Development Association, being its first chairman.’
    • ‘A founder member of the original Bradford Festival committee, Dusty Rhodes, is now leading the Reclaim Bradford Festival campaign to bring the organisation back to local people.’
    • ‘He was a founder member of many scientific establishments, including the Paediatric Pathology Society and the Society for Research into Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida.’
    • ‘But already the founders have established two key areas of need - including facilities for young people.’
    • ‘A founder member of the Rochdale Art Society, Donald Taylor was very well known for oil and watercolour landscapes, mainly depicting the Lake District, the Pennines, the Yorkshire Dales and Whitby.’
    • ‘However, the director admits that as a founder member of the theatre's company, appearing in over 20 productions, it's nice to come full circle and give something back to the theatre where his career began.’
    • ‘Theresa Merritt, one of the founder members, said: ‘At the moment we have ten ladies who train regularly every week.’’
    • ‘She was determined that ‘never again’ should families go through the same ordeal and became a founder member and national coordinator of the National Committee Relating to Organ Retention.’
    • ‘The founder member of a branch of an army organisation has been commemorated with a donation towards cancer research.’
    • ‘The group founders set the original rules, but they can be changed by vote of the active PMC members.’
    • ‘He played table tennis, tennis and cricket, and was one of the founder members of Western Athletics Club when it was established in the late 1970s.’
    • ‘The 16 founder members decided it made better sense to bury their differences in the area of staff training and promotion of careers in the sector rather than continue the zero-sum game of poaching talent from each other.’
    • ‘When the 11 founder members of the euro fused their currencies in January 1999, European policymakers promised they were launching an economic powerhouse on the world to rival America.’
    • ‘Archaeologists say they have unearthed Lupercale - the sacred cave where, according to legend, a she-wolf nursed the twin founders of Rome and where the city itself was born.’
    • ‘However, the term is nothing more than ‘a marketing idea used to sell books,’ Slashdot founder Rob Malda believes.’
    • ‘The names of the founders of some other, specific religious groups can often be found in the main statistical database, although that is not the purpose of that database.’
    • ‘Plenty of the founder members couldn't make it this close to Christmas, so January's event may well be larger.’
    • ‘Wilks was a founder member of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.’
    • ‘And they were the original founder members of the European Community - a team of six which includes France, but not Britain.’
    originator, creator, initiator, institutor, instigator, organizer, father, founding father, prime mover, architect, engineer, designer, deviser, developer, pioneer, author, planner, framer, inventor, mastermind, maker, producer, builder, constructor
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

founder

/ˈfaʊndər//ˈfoundər/

Main definitions of founder in US English:

: founder1founder2founder3founder4

founder3

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of a ship) fill with water and sink.

    ‘six drowned when the yacht foundered off the Florida coast’
    • ‘When a small boat foundered in the seas to the north of Australia and its passengers were rescued by the MV Tampa, the ship came to symbolise this choice between control and chaos.’
    • ‘The worst-case scenario is that his ship will founder and spill its load of heavy fuel into the ocean.’
    • ‘In 1822 the Tek Sing foundered on a reef off the Java coast and sank within minutes.’
    • ‘The Sydney, with superior speed and firepower, raked the German ship, which limped to North Keeling where she foundered on the reef.’
    • ‘Nearly a century later, sledding down the Horton, Vilhjalmur Stefansson learned of the Titanic's sinking a full three months and ten days after the ocean liner had foundered in the North Atlantic.’
    • ‘So many ships have foundered along this coast, driven onto its reefs by storms or lured there by wreckers' lights, that pieces from Spanish galleons still wash up with the tide.’
    • ‘Rather than asking why the ship foundered, Howell investigates how this maritime disaster acquired wider cultural and social significance in the years before World War I.’
    • ‘Barshef says the ships around him all foundered.’
    • ‘In 1629, the Dutch ship Batavia foundered off the coast of Western Australia.’
    • ‘But before long the boat foundered on a sand-bank and all we could do was wait for the tide.’
    • ‘Twenty Armada ships were to founder on the Irish rocks.’
    • ‘A letter written by a Titanic passenger who left the ship before it foundered on its maiden voyage was sold for £13,000 at a Yorkshire auction yesterday.’
    • ‘Some twenty Spanish ships foundered on the west coast.’
    • ‘The subject is an Afro-Brazilian sailor who saved many lives when his ship foundered along the coast of Brazil.’
    • ‘The vessel foundered at around 3pm but, unusually, the plane failed to conduct the scheduled afternoon flight.’
    • ‘It is assumed that the vessel foundered in an instant but violent storm.’
    • ‘The collector, who does not want to be named, told the Sunday Herald that despite checking with Titanic societies in the US and the UK, no other documents had been found stating that the ship could not founder.’
    • ‘The South Island was formed, they say, when a canoe full of 150 gods foundered on a reef.’
    • ‘If it is not covered, the boat will founder in this tempest, and the ocean will summarily swallow the sailors and their dream.’
    • ‘That the Prime Minister's ship almost foundered on that ‘rock’ appears to have made little difference.’
    sink, go to the bottom, go down, be lost at sea, submerge, capsize, run aground, be swamped
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a plan or undertaking) fail or break down, typically as a result of a particular problem or setback.
      ‘the talks foundered on the issue of reform’
      • ‘The socialists had an egalitarian dream, the achievement of which inevitably foundered under their managerial inexperience and the unyielding zeal of their convictions.’
      • ‘But the plan foundered when the owner refused to enter into any discussions and the council was unable to make any progress.’
      • ‘Members of the GMB union at the plant had called out their members on a 24-hour strike after negotiations with management over this year's pay round foundered on a proposed productivity deal.’
      • ‘An attempted comeback last year foundered when he failed again to secure a place on the Tour, and in June he booked himself into a clinic that specialised in depression and drug addiction.’
      • ‘But both proposals foundered because of the difficulties in finding groups prepared to donate £2m.’
      • ‘Attempts to introduce a new price structure have foundered on the implacable opposition of Norwegian-controlled companies.’
      • ‘If the current negotiations over a grand coalition should founder, these plans could be quickly revived.’
      • ‘And if shareholders believe a board is biased toward the interests of management, a buyout proposal can quickly founder.’
      • ‘A French and German proposal foundered last year on precisely the same issue.’
      • ‘The association suggested the appointment of a further commissioner from a panel representing bus users but the proposal foundered in the absence of more general support.’
      • ‘In Scotland, the risky strategy could founder on the traditional perils of the nation's health bureaucracy.’
      • ‘Although several individuals had been keen to buy the house, their plans always foundered when he questioned whether they had the financial resources to carry the project through.’
      • ‘They mention three controversial proposals that allegedly foundered on contributors' influence.’
      • ‘So our revolution continues, and our ideals must struggle against the human tendencies and the social forces that would cause our experiment to founder and fail.’
      • ‘In the mass mobilisation wars of the 20th century, several public health plans that had foundered for lack of public support in peace time came to seem necessary for the war effort.’
      • ‘Negotiations, already a year behind schedule, have foundered on divisions between rich and poor nations.’
      • ‘Throughout the 1990s, under the previous administration - which is no longer giving support to this moratorium - those proposals foundered.’
      • ‘Nothing, of course, came of this, as his proposals foundered on the rock-like conservatism of his profession.’
      • ‘This plan foundered more through the sheer impracticability of the proposals than obstruction by officials.’
      • ‘The scheme soon foundered, being rejected by the colonial Premiers when they gathered in London for the two Colonial Conferences of 1887 and 1897.’
      fail, be unsuccessful, not succeed, lack success, fall through, fall flat, break down, abort, miscarry, be defeated, suffer defeat, be in vain, be frustrated, collapse, misfire, backfire, not come up to scratch, meet with disaster, come to grief, come to nothing, come to naught, miss the mark, run aground, go wrong, go awry, go astray
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2North American (of a hoofed animal, especially a horse or pony) succumb to laminitis.
      • ‘Recently, he foundered in his left fore, which was very acute.’
      • ‘Don't feed straight corn, because goats will founder and have hoof problems, Finch advised.’
      • ‘Keep donkeys off the sweet feed and grain, as they can founder and develop laminitis just as horses do.’

noun

North American
  • Laminitis in horses, ponies, or other hoofed animals.

    • ‘Some of the losses have been associated with management errors, including not providing transition time, founder, and hauling water in fertilizer tanks.’
    • ‘Rapid intakes of highly fermentable diets that occur with meal-eating behavior may cause feed-related metabolic disorders such as acidosis, founder, and bloat.’

Usage

It is easy to confuse the words founder and flounder, not only because they sound similar but also because the contexts in which they are used overlap. Founder means, in its general and extended use, ‘fail or come to nothing, sink out of sight’ (the scheme foundered because of lack of organizational backing). Flounder, on the other hand, means ‘struggle, move clumsily, be in a state of confusion’ (new recruits floundering about in their first week)

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘knock to the ground’): from Old French fondrer, esfondrer ‘submerge, collapse’, based on Latin fundus ‘bottom, base’.

Pronunciation

founder

/ˈfoundər//ˈfaʊndər/

Main definitions of founder in US English:

: founder1founder2founder3founder4

founder4

verb

[with object]Irish
  • Make (someone) very cold.

    ‘it would founder you out there’
    ‘get a fire lit, I'm foundered’
    • ‘I have many memories of being foundered on that windswept strand in the name of family holiday time.’
    • ‘I was permanently foundered, wearing thermals in and out of bed.’
    • ‘We're rehearsing in a freezing cold old shirt factory and I'm foundered.’
    • ‘Could you put some heat through the place? It would founder you.’
    • ‘It would founder you; there's goin' to be a frost.’
    • ‘The foundered journalists standing for around two hours outside were imagining the headlines.’
    • ‘A child returning from playing outdoors in the cold, would be told, "Sit down there and warm yourself. You're foundered".’
    • ‘The band will doubtless be foundered in the crisp November air.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: from founder, influenced by obsolete found ‘to chill or numb with cold’.

Pronunciation

founder

/ˈfoundər//ˈfaʊndər/