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Meaning of fathom

fath•om

Pronunciation: (fa'um), [key]
— n., pl. v. fath•oms, fath•om,
—n.
  1. a unit of length equal to six feet (1.8 meters): used chiefly in nautical measurements. Abbr.: fath
—v.t.
  1. to measure the depth of by means of a sounding line; sound.
  2. to penetrate to the truth of; comprehend; understand: to fathom someone's motives.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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