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Meaning of FATHOM

Pronunciation:  'fadhum

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  (mining) a unit of volume (equal to 6 cubic feet) used in measuring bodies of ore
  2. [n]  a linear unit of measurement (equal to 6 feet) for water depth
  3. [v]  measure depths with a sounding line, as of a body of water
  4. [v]  come to understand

FATHOM is a 6 letter word that starts with F.


 Synonyms: bottom, fthm, penetrate, sound
 See Also: capacity measure, capacity unit, cubage unit, cubature unit, cubic content unit, cubic measure, displacement unit, linear unit, measure, pace, quantify, understand, volume unit, yard



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Fath"om\, n. [OE. fadme, fa[eth]me, AS. f[ae][eth]m
    fathom, the embracing arms; akin to OS. fa[eth]mos the
    outstretched arms, D. vadem, vaam, fathom, OHG. fadom, fadum,
    G. faden fathom, thread, Icel. fa[eth]mr fathom, Sw. famn,
    Dan. favn; cf. Gr. ?????????? to spread out, ???????
    outspread, flat, L. patere to lie open, extend. Cf. {Patent},
    1. A measure of length, containing six feet; the space to
       which a man can extend his arms; -- used chiefly in
       measuring cables, cordage, and the depth of navigable
       water by soundings.
    2. The measure or extant of one's capacity; depth, as of
       intellect; profundity; reach; penetration. [R.]
             Another of his fathom they have none To lead their
             business.                             --Shak.
  2. \Fath"om\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Fathomed}; p. pr. & vb.
    n. {Fathoming}.]
    1. To encompass with the arms extended or encircling; to
       measure by throwing the arms about; to span. [Obs.]
    2. The measure by a sounding line; especially, to sound the
       depth of; to penetrate, measure, and comprehend; to get to
       the bottom of. --Dryden.
             The page of life that was spread out before me
             seemed dull and commonplace, only because I had not
             fathomed its deeper import.           --Hawthotne.
Easton Bible Dictionary

(Old A.S. faethm, "bosom," or the outstretched arms), a span of six feet (Acts 27:28). Gr. orguia (from orego, "I stretch"), the distance between the extremities of both arms fully stretched out.

Thesaurus Terms
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