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2 [foun-der]
verb (used without object)
(of a ship, boat, etc.) to fill with water and sink.
to fall or sink down, as buildings, ground, etc.: Built on a former lake bed, the building has foundered nearly ten feet.
to become wrecked; fail utterly: The project foundered because public support was lacking.
to stumble, break down, or go lame, as a horse: His mount foundered on the rocky path.
to become ill from overeating.
Veterinary Pathology. (of a horse) to suffer from laminitis.
verb (used with object)
to cause to fill with water and sink: Rough seas had foundered the ship in mid-ocean.
Veterinary Pathology. to cause (a horse) to break down, go lame, or suffer from laminitis.
Veterinary Pathology, laminitis.

1300–50; Middle English foundren < Middle French fondrer to plunge to the bottom, submerge < Vulgar Latin *fundorāre, derivative of *fundor-, taken as stem of Latin fundus bottom

unfoundered, adjective
unfoundering, adjective

3. collapse, perish, succumb, topple, sink; flop.


3 [foun-der]
a person who founds or casts metal, glass, etc.

1175–1225; Middle English; see found3, -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
founder1 (ˈfaʊndə)
a person who establishes an institution, company, society, etc
[C14: see found²]

founder2 (ˈfaʊndə)
1.  (of a ship) to sink
2.  to break down or fail: the project foundered
3.  to sink into or become stuck in soft ground
4.  to fall in or give way; collapse
5.  (of a horse) to stumble or go lame
6.  archaic (of animals, esp livestock) to become ill from overeating
7.  vet science another name for laminitis
usage  Founder is sometimes wrongly used where flounder is meant: this unexpected turn of events left him floundering (not foundering)

founder3 (ˈfaʊndə)
a.  a person who makes metal castings
 b.  (in combination): an iron founder
[C15: see found³]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., from O.Fr. fondrer "submerge, fall to the bottom," from fond "bottom," from L. fundus "bottom, foundation" (see fund (n.)). Related: Foundered; foundering.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

founder foun·der (foun'dər)
v. foun·dered, foun·der·ing, foun·ders

  1. To stumble, especially to stumble and go lame. Used of horses.

  2. To become ill from overeating. Used of livestock.

  3. To be afflicted with laminitis. Used of horses.

See laminitis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
After all, without customers businesses founder and ultimately fail.
The founder of a large and growing family of sports.
Its founder and longtime president did not believe in an endowment, which he
  thought might make campus leaders too comfortable.
The rule of this holy founder consists of seventy-five chapters.
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