Main definitions of founder in English

: founder1founder2founder3

founder1

noun

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

    ‘an iron founder’
    • ‘By 1840 business directories in New York City listed thirteen iron founders, and sixteen the following year.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

founder

/ˈfoundər/

Main definitions of founder in English

: founder1founder2founder3

founder2

noun

  • A person who establishes an institution or settlement.

    ‘he was the founder of modern Costa Rica’
    • ‘But already the founders have established two key areas of need - including facilities for young 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And they were the original founder members of the European Community - a team of six which includes France, but not Britain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was also a founder member of Clonmore Development Association, being its first chairman.’
    • ‘The group founders set the original rules, but they can be changed by vote of the active PMC members.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wilks was a founder member of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics.’
    • ‘Plenty of the founder members couldn't make it this close to Christmas, so January's event may well be larger.’
    • ‘We usually invest $6000n in each company, where n is the number of participating founders.’
    • ‘Theresa Merritt, one of the founder members, said: ‘At the moment we have ten ladies who train regularly every week.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, the term is nothing more than ‘a marketing idea used to sell books,’ Slashdot founder Rob Malda believes.’
    • ‘The founder member of a branch of an army organisation has been commemorated with a donation towards cancer research.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
    begetter
    establisher
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

founder

/ˈfoundər/

Main definitions of founder in English

: founder1founder2founder3

founder3

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 (of a ship) fill with water and sink.

    ‘six drowned when the yacht foundered off the Florida coast’
    • ‘That the Prime Minister's ship almost foundered on that ‘rock’ appears to have made little difference.’
    • ‘The subject is an Afro-Brazilian sailor who saved many lives when his ship foundered along the coast of Brazil.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Twenty Armada ships were to founder on the Irish rocks.’
    • ‘The South Island was formed, they say, when a canoe full of 150 gods foundered on a reef.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Sydney, with superior speed and firepower, raked the German ship, which limped to North Keeling where she foundered on the reef.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘It is assumed that the vessel foundered in an instant but violent storm.’
    • ‘But before long the boat foundered on a sand-bank and all we could do was wait for the tide.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If it is not covered, the boat will founder in this tempest, and the ocean will summarily swallow the sailors and their dream.’
    • ‘Barshef says the ships around him all foundered.’
    • ‘In 1629, the Dutch ship Batavia foundered off the coast of Western Australia.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The vessel foundered at around 3pm but, unusually, the plane failed to conduct the scheduled afternoon flight.’
    • ‘Some twenty Spanish ships foundered on the west coast.’
    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’
      • ‘And if shareholders believe a board is biased toward the interests of management, a buyout proposal can quickly founder.’
      • ‘If the current negotiations over a grand coalition should founder, these plans could be quickly revived.’
      • ‘A French and German proposal foundered last year on precisely the same issue.’
      • ‘This plan foundered more through the sheer impracticability of the proposals than obstruction by officials.’
      • ‘In Scotland, the risky strategy could founder on the traditional perils of the nation's health bureaucracy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The socialists had an egalitarian dream, the achievement of which inevitably foundered under their managerial inexperience and the unyielding zeal of their convictions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nothing, of course, came of this, as his proposals foundered on the rock-like conservatism of his profession.’
      • ‘But the plan foundered when the owner refused to enter into any discussions and the council was unable to make any progress.’
      • ‘They mention three controversial proposals that allegedly foundered on contributors' influence.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The scheme soon foundered, being rejected by the colonial Premiers when they gathered in London for the two Colonial Conferences of 1887 and 1897.’
      • ‘Negotiations, already a year behind schedule, have foundered on divisions between rich and poor nations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Attempts to introduce a new price structure have foundered on the implacable opposition of Norwegian-controlled companies.’
      • ‘Throughout the 1990s, under the previous administration - which is no longer giving support to this moratorium - those proposals foundered.’
      • ‘But both proposals foundered because of the difficulties in finding groups prepared to donate £2m.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Recently, he foundered in his left fore, which was very acute.’

noun

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

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

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/