- a unit of length equal to six feet (1.8 meters): used chiefly in nautical measurements. Abbreviation: fath
- to measure the depth of by means of a sounding line; sound.
- to penetrate to the truth of; comprehend; understand: to fathom someone's motives.
Origin of fathom
Examples from the Web for fathomed
My confidence is now forever and irreparably shaken for reasons I never could have fathomed.The Aurora Shooting Made One Prominent Hollywood Producer Too Scared to Go to The Multiplex
August 26, 2012
He can afford not to be fathomed for every little pearl that lies at the bottom of his ocean.A Dish Of Orts
He had always believed he had long since fathomed the depths of his wild friend.The Twins of Suffering Creek
The point I have not fathomed is the means by which the ‘goods’ are brought into the country.The Hound From The North
By this time I had fathomed all the depths of Madame d'Urfe's character.The Memoires of Casanova, Complete
Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
He had fathomed the true state of affairs between Archie and Hope.Teddy: Her Book
Anna Chapin Ray
- a unit of length equal to six feet (1.829 metres), used to measure depths of water
- mining a unit of volume usually equal to six cubic feet, used in measuring ore bodies
- forestry a unit of volume equal to six cubic feet, used for measuring timber
- to measure the depth of, esp with a sounding line; sound
- to penetrate (a mystery, problem, etc); discover the meaning of
Word Origin and History for fathomed
Old English fæðm "length of the outstretched arm" (a measure of about six feet), also "arms, grasp," and, figuratively "power," from Proto-Germanic *fathmaz "embrace" (cf. Old Norse faðmr "embrace, bosom," Old Saxon fathmos "the outstretched arms," Dutch vadem "a measure of six feet"), from PIE *pot(e)-mo-, from root *pete- "to spread, stretch out" (see pace (n.)). There are apparent cognates in Old Frisian fethem, German faden "thread," which OED explains by reference to "spreading out."
Old English fæðmian "to embrace, surround, envelop;" see fathom (n.). The meaning "take soundings" is from c.1600; its figurative sense of "get to the bottom of, understand" is 1620s. Related: Fathomed; fathoming.