AskDefine | Define founder

Dictionary Definition



1 inflammation of the laminated tissue that attaches the hoof to the foot of a horse [syn: laminitis]
2 a person who founds or establishes some institution; "George Washington is the father of his country" [syn: beginner, founding father, father]
3 a worker who makes metal castings


1 fail utterly; collapse; "The project foundered" [syn: fall through, fall flat, flop]
2 sink below the surface
3 break down, literally or metaphorically; "The wall collapsed"; "The business collapsed"; "The dam broke"; "The roof collapsed"; "The wall gave in"; "The roof finally gave under the weight of the ice" [syn: collapse, fall in, cave in, give, give way, break]
4 stumble and nearly fall; "the horses foundered"

User Contributed Dictionary



Etymology 1

From etyl fro fondeor, from etyl la fundātor


  1. One who founds, establishes, and erects; one who lays a foundation; an author; one from whom something originates; one who endows.
One who founds, establishes, and erects; one who lays a foundation; an author
  • Czech: zakladatel
  • Dutch: stichter
  • French: fondateur fondatrice
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: نوێنه‌ر
  • Russian: основатель
  • Spanish: fundador

Etymology 2

From etyl frm fondeur, from etyl la fundo


  1. The iron worker in charge of the blast furnace and the smelting operation.
    • 1957, H.R. Schubert, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry, p. 161.
      The term founder was applied in the British iron industry long afterwards to the ironworker in charge of the blast furnace and the smelting operation.
The iron worker in charge of the blast furnace and the smelting operation

Etymology 3

From etyl frm fondrer, from etyl la fundus


  1. Fill with water and sink.
    • 1719: Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
      We were not much more than a quarter of an hour out of our ship but we saw her sink, and then I understood for the first time what was meant by a ship foundering in the sea.
  2. To fall; to stumble and go lame, as a horse.
  3. To fail; to miscarry.
to sink
  • French: couler, sombrer
  • Spanish: zozobrar
to stumble
to fail
  • Spanish: fracasar, zozobrar

Usage notes

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).

Extensive Definition

Founder may refer to:
  • Founder (noun) - With respect to a settlement, organization, company or enterprise, the person who started or "founded" (as if forging steel) it.
  • Founder (noun) - A metalworker operating a foundry.
  • Foundering (verb) – Sinking, used as a nautical term; a failing enterprise, used metaphorically to reference a sinking ship. Often confused with "floundering" (acting clumsily or in confusion).
  • Foundered (adjective) - a condition, Laminitis, a horse ailment in which "foundering" (sinking) is a common symptom.
  • Founder Group, China's second-largest personal computer vendor
  • Founder Technology, a subsidiary company of Founder Group engaged in development of PCs, peripherals and PCBs
  • Founder effect, a biological concept used to explain genetics in a small isolated population
founder in Simple English: Founder

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abort, ancestors, apprentice, architect, artificer, artist, author, be clobbered, be destroyed, be felled, be lost, be poleaxed, be staggered, be stricken, begetter, beginner, break down, builder, capsize, cave, cave in, collapse, come to grief, come to naught, come to nothing, conceiver, constructor, craftsman, creator, decline, designer, deviser, die, discoverer, droop, drown, effector, engenderer, engineer, establisher, executor, executrix, fail, fall, fall in, fall through, falter, father, flop, flop down, flump, flump down, framer, generator, give way, go down, go downhill, go lame, go under, grower, have a mishap, inaugurator, industrialist, initiator, instigator, institutor, introducer, inventor, journeyman, keel, keel over, lapse, lower, lurch, maker, manufacturer, master, master craftsman, miscarry, mother, organizer, originator, overset, overturn, past master, patriarch, pitchpole, planner, plop, plop down, plump, precursor, prime mover, producer, progenitor, raiser, realizer, run aground, sag, scuttle, set, settle, settle down, shaper, sink, sink down, sink like lead, sire, slip, slouch, slump, slump down, smith, somersault, stagger, stumble, submerge, submerse, subside, suffer a misfortune, swag, sway, topple, topple down, topple over, totter, trip, turn over, turn turtle, upset, upset the boat, wright
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