Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 19, 2020 is:
fountainhead FOUN-tun-hed noun
1 : a spring that is the source of a stream
2 : principal source : origin
“For all that Paradise Valley represents as a fountainhead of visual awe, the living is not easy for those who steward its most coveted, valuable and threatened asset—its open space, [Whitney Tilt] asserts.” — Todd Wilkinson, The Mountain Journal (Bozeman, Montana), 30 July 2020
“With the advancements in technology, there is an unprecedented demand for electronic products that are portable or more compact. This trend has been a fountainhead for most of the ‘smart’ devices that we see today, such as fit bands, smart bulbs, and smart watches.” — Business Wire, 10 June 2020
Did you know?
When it first entered English in the late 16th century, fountainhead was used only in a literal sense—to refer to the source of a stream. By the 17th century, however, it was already beginning to be used figuratively in reference to any original or primary source. In his 1854 work Walden, Henry David Thoreau used the word in its figurative sense, while paying full homage to its literal meaning as well: “Morning air! If men will not drink of this at the fountainhead of the day, why, then, we must even bottle up some and sell it in the shops, for the benefit of those who have lost their subscription ticket to morning time in this world.”