fath|om


fath|om
fath|om «faTH uhm», noun, plural fath|oms or (collectively) fath|om, verb.
–n.
a unit of measure equal to 6 feet. It is used mostly in measuring the depth of water and the length of ships' ropes or cables: »

The ship sank in 10 fathoms. Full fathom five thy Father lies (Shakespeare).

Abbr: f.
–v.t.
1. to find the depth of; sound: »

to fathom the ocean.

2. Figurative. to get to the bottom of; understand fully: »

I can't fathom what you mean. I tried to fathom the motives for his behavior.

SYNONYM(S): comprehend.
–v.i.
1. to take soundings: »

to fathom with a plumb line.

2. Figurative. to delve; search: »

The philosopher…went fathoming on…in the very abysses of human thought (Henry Hart Milman).

[Middle English fadum or fathum, Old English fæthm width of the outstretched arms; grasp]
fath´om|er, noun.

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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