- 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 unfathomed
Historical Examples of unfathomed
Here is the natural—but there is the vast, unfathomed supernatural.Chats on Royal Copenhagen Porcelain
No man so amphibious has since arisen through the unfathomed tide of time.Mary Anerley
R. D. Blackmore
The stream begins in mystery, and ends in unfathomed darkness.Etidorhpa or the End of Earth.
John Uri Lloyd
There was only one thought which could set him aflame, and that was the thought of the unfathomed might of man.Emerson and Other Essays
John Jay Chapman
What brought him to bustling, sunny Naples, was an unfathomed mystery.A Love Story
- 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 for fathom
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.