Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The source of a stream or spring.
  • n. A source: a wellspring of ideas.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The source of water for a stream, spring or well; a fountainhead; a wellhead.
  • n. A perennial source of anything; a fountainhead of supply or emanation; resource.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fountain; a spring; a source of continual supply.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A water-source; a fountainhead; a living spring.
  • n. Hence Figuratively, a perennial source of anything; a fountainhead of supply or of emanation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the source of water for a well
  • n. an abundant source

Etymologies

From Middle English wellespring, from Old English wiellspring, wiellġespring ("spring, fount, fountain"), corresponding to well +‎ spring. More at well, spring. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A. the recently concluded campaign confirmed, presidential debates are wholly unsatisfying, yet their wellspring is the epic series of seven debates held in 1858 between A.raham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, both candidates for the Senate from Illinois.

    Leaders With Connections

  • The newfound species has been named Australopithecus sediba, a blend of the established Latin term for "southern ape" and the word for "wellspring" in the SeSotho language.

    AustralianIT.com.au | Top Stories

  • Some people -- don't know who, but they sound disreputable -- think that the people who write about the Park 51 Islamic Community Center being some kind of wellspring for birthing American-born terror babies are nuts.

    News & Politics

  • By 2005 Tipoff had morphed into the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), the mother of all federal counterterrorism databases and the "wellspring" for watch lists distributed to airlines, law enforcement, border posts and U.S. consulates world-wide.

    911Blogger.com - Paying Attention to 9/11 Related Alternative News

  • Guan Moye his real one) is in his hometown of Gaomi, Shandong province, a place he has described as the wellspring of his creativity.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • The first mystery of the Kalahari, the wellspring of original spirituality, is natural movement unfettered by the constraints and limited manipulations of mind, but not the kind of physical exercise in which you make yourself move.

    The Bushman Way of Tracking God

  • Several of the schools in the for-profit sector derive more than 85 percent of their revenues from federal student aid, putting them perilously close to the 90-percent threshold and placing schools at risk of losing access to the wellspring of federal aid.

    For-Profit Colleges Selling Students On High-Risk Loans, Consumer Group Says

  • It is the spiritual wellspring of all true healing, both of individuals and also of the entire world.

    Andrew Z. Cohen: 'I Just Called To Say I Love You': Reflections On The Multiple Meanings Of Love

  • The truth is that the "soft" power of moral persuasion -- the true wellspring of American strength and leadership -- did more to end the Cold War than the "hard" power of military and economic coercion.

    Christopher Holshek: The 21st Century's 1989?

  • Fannie and Freddie were conceptualized by Greenspan as a wellspring of systematic credit growth outside the banking system.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Costliest Bailout

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