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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Fathom


FATH'OM, noun

1. A measure of length containing six feet, the space to which a man may extend his arms; used chiefly at sea for measuring cables, cordage, and the depth of the sea is sounding by a line and lead.

2. Reach; penetration; depth of thought or contrivance.

FATH'OM, verb transitive

1. To encompass with the arms extended or encircling.

2. To reach; to master; to comprehend.

Leave to fathom such high points as these.

3. To reach in depth; to sound; to try the depth.

Our depths who fathoms.

4. To penetrate; to find the bottom or extent. I cannot fathom his design.