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April 15, 2018

Word of the Day: Founder

1 CQ

Word of the Day : April 15, 2018

founder \FOUN-der\ verb


1 : to make or become disabled or lame

2 : to give way : collapse

3 : to become submerged : sink

4 : to come to grief : fail

Did You Know?

Founder comes from Middle English foundren, meaning "to send to the bottom" or "collapse." That word came from the Middle French verb fondrer, and ultimately from the Latin noun fundus, meaning "bottom." When something founders, it usually hits the bottom in one sense or another. A foundering horse—that is, a disabled one—is likely to collapse to the ground. When a ship founders, it sinks to the bottom of the sea. Founder has a broader, figurative sense, too—if someone's marriage or career is foundering, it isn't doing well and is therefore headed downward.

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Aired April 15, 2018

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