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fathom

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fathom


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Fathom  \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}, 
  {Petal}.] 
  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. 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Fathom  \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.] 
  --Purchas. 
 
  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. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  fathom 
  n  1:  a  linear  unit  of  measurement  (equal  to  6  feet)  for  water 
  depth  [syn:  {fthm}] 
  2:  (mining)  a  unit  of  volume  (equal  to  6  cubic  feet)  used  in 
  measuring  bodies  of  ore  [syn:  {fthm}] 
  v  1:  come  to  understand  [syn:  {penetrate},  {bottom}] 
  2:  measure  depths  with  a  sounding  line  as  of  a  body  of  water 
  [syn:  {sound}] 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Fathom 
  (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 
 




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