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

  • intransitive v. To sink below the surface of the water: The ship struck a reef and foundered.
  • intransitive v. To cave in; sink: The platform swayed and then foundered.
  • intransitive v. To fail utterly; collapse: a marriage that soon foundered.
  • intransitive v. To stumble, especially to stumble and go lame. Used of horses.
  • intransitive v. To become ill from overeating. Used of livestock.
  • intransitive v. To be afflicted with laminitis. Used of horses.
  • transitive v. To cause to founder.
  • n. See laminitis.
  • n. One who establishes something or formulates the basis for something: the founder of a university; the founders of a new nation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who founds, establishes, and erects; one who lays a foundation; an author; one from whom something originates; one who endows.
  • n. Someone for whose parents one has no data.
  • n. The iron worker in charge of the blast furnace and the smelting operation.
  • v. Of a ship, to fill with water and sink.
  • v. To fall; to stumble and go lame, as a horse.
  • v. To fail; to miscarry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who founds, establishes, and erects; one who lays a foundation; an author; one from whom anything originates; one who endows.
  • n. One who founds; one who casts metals in various forms; a caster.
  • intransitive v. To become filled with water, and sink, as a ship.
  • intransitive v. To fall; to stumble and go lame, as a horse.
  • intransitive v. To fail; to miscarry.
  • transitive v. To cause internal inflammation and soreness in the feet or limbs of (a horse), so as to disable or lame him.
  • n. A lameness in the foot of a horse, occasioned by inflammation; closh.
  • n. An inflammatory fever of the body, or acute rheumatism. See chest ffounder.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who founds or establishes.
  • n. An originator; one from whom anything derives its beginning; an author: as, the founder of a sect of philosophers; the founder of a family.
  • n. One who establishes by endowment; one who provides a permanent fund for any purpose: as, the founder of a college or hospital.
  • n. A creator; a maker.
  • n. One who founds metals, or articles of metal or glass (the material of which is called metal); a caster: as, a founder of cannon, bells, printing-types, etc.
  • Nautical, to fill or become filled and sink, as a ship.
  • Hence To fail; miscarry.
  • To trip; stumble; go lame, as a horse.
  • Naut., to cause to fill and sink, as a ship.
  • To cause internal inflammation in the feet of, as a horse, so as to disable or lame him.
  • n. In farriery, lameness caused by inflammation within the hoof of a horse; laminitis. Also called closh.
  • In golf, to drive the ball into the ground by turning in the face of the club when striking.

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

  • n. inflammation of the laminated tissue that attaches the hoof to the foot of a horse
  • v. stumble and nearly fall
  • v. sink below the surface
  • v. break down, literally or metaphorically
  • n. a worker who makes metal castings
  • n. a person who founds or establishes some institution
  • v. fail utterly; collapse


Middle English foundren, to sink to the ground, from Old French fondrer, from Vulgar Latin *funderāre, from *fundus, *funder-, bottom, from Latin fundus, fund-.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French fondeur, from Latin fundātor. (Wiktionary)
From Middle French fondeur, from Latin fundo ("pour, melt, cast") (Wiktionary)
From Middle French fondrer ("send to the bottom"), from Latin fundus ("bottom") (Wiktionary)



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  • Just learned this verb-form from the title of a GM Hopkins poem: "The Loss of the Eurydice: Foundered March 24. 1878" I'm trying to find the poem's publication/written date. The ship sunk in 1878, he died in 1889 so It must be sometime between those.

    I found the poem because he made up and used daredeath in it. Welcome home, little compound orphan.

    October 31, 2015

  • "a person who casts cannon." (see also comments on foundery)

    October 9, 2008

  • “You are the New Sun. You will be returned to your Urth, and the White Fountain will go with you. The death agonies of the world you know will be offered to the Increate. And they will be indescribable—continents will founder, as has been said. Much that is beautiful will perish, and with it most of your race; but your home will be reborn.”
    —Gene Wolfe, The Urth of the New Sun

    September 30, 2008

  • WeirdNet, how you tempt me.

    August 19, 2008