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used in a sentence
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Definition to fail or break-down


to physically sink below the surface or fall

A more common meaning refers to someone who establishes or starts something—such as the founder of the University.

A less common meaning refers to someone who manufactures things made from cast metal.
  • The project foundered
foundered = failed
  • The ship foundered in the storm.
  • The strategy foundered with the accident and associated publicity.
  • foundered = failed
  • The money ran out, another investment foundered, the loan came due, and Louie had to turn over his keys.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • foundered = failed
  • They are off our shore, half foundered — they will sink if they do not land!
    Madeline Miller  --  Circe
  • foundered = sunk
  • The air here was dark too, and the creepers dropped their ropes like the rigging of foundered ships.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • foundered = sunken
  • She made little boats out of birch-bark, and freighted them with snailshells, and sent out more ventures on the mighty deep than any merchant in New England; but the larger part of them foundered near the shore.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • foundered = sank
  • We saw your ship founder and allowed you to come to our island, though usually it is closed to mortals.
    Madeline Miller  --  Circe
  • founder = start to sink
  • ...reading the names of vessels that had long ago foundered at sea or rotted at the wharves,
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • foundered = failed; or sank
  • The night was really terrible; it would be a miracle if the craft did not founder.
    Jules Verne  --  Around The World In Eighty Days

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