a. An artificially created jet or stream of water.
b. A structure, often decorative, from which a jet or stream of water issues.
2. A spring, especially the source of a stream.
3. A reservoir or chamber containing a supply of liquid that can be siphoned off as needed.
4. A soda fountain.
5. A drinking fountain.
6. A point of origin or dissemination; a source: the library, a fountain of information.
intr. & tr.v. foun·tained, foun·tain·ing, foun·tains
To flow or cause to flow like a fountain.
[Middle English, from Old French fontaine, from Late Latin fontāna, from Latin, feminine of fontānus, of a spring, from fōns, font-, spring.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.