verbfoun·dered, foun·der·ing, foun·ders
- To sink below the surface of the water: The ship struck a reef and foundered.
- To cave in; sink: The platform swayed and then foundered.
- To fail utterly; collapse: a marriage that soon foundered.
- To stumble, especially to stumble and go lame. Used of horses.
- To become ill from overeating. Used of livestock.
- To be afflicted with laminitis. Used of horses.
To cause to founder: A large wave foundered the boat.
Origin of founder
Middle English foundren to sink to the ground from
Old French fondrer from
Vulgar Latin funderāre from fundus *funder- bottom from
Latin fundus fund-
Usage Note: The verbs founder and flounder are often confused. Founder comes from a Latin word meaning “bottom” (as in foundation ) and originally referred to knocking enemies down; it is now also used to mean “to fail utterly, collapse.” Flounder means “to move clumsily, thrash about,” and hence “to proceed in confusion.” If John is foundering in Chemistry 101, he had better drop the course; if he is floundering, he may yet pull through.
One who establishes something or formulates the basis for something: the founder of a university.
- One who founds, establishes, and erects; one who lays a foundation; an author; one from whom something originates; one who endows.
- (genetics) Someone for whose parents one has no data.
From Old French fondeur, from Latin fundātor.
- The iron worker in charge of the blast furnace and the smelting operation.
- One who casts metals in various forms; a caster.
- a founder of cannon, bells, hardware, or printing types
From Middle French fondeur, from Latin fundo (“pour, melt, cast”)
(third-person singular simple present founders, present participle foundering, simple past and past participle foundered)
- (intransitive) Of a ship, to fill with water and sink.
- (intransitive) To fall; to stumble and go lame, as a horse.
- To disable or lame (a horse) by causing internal inflammation and soreness in the feet or limbs.
- (intransitive) To fail; to miscarry.
Frequently confused with flounder. Both may be applied to the same situation, the difference is the severity of the action: floundering (struggling to maintain position) comes first, followed by foundering (losing it by falling, sinking or failing).
From Middle French fondrer (“send to the bottom”), from Latin fundus (“bottom”)