Definition of fathom in English:
A unit of length equal to six feet (1.8 metres), chiefly used in reference to the depth of water: sonar says that we’re in eighteen fathoms
More example sentences
- If your boat is in the water and cannot be trailered, move it offshore to waters over 200 fathoms deep as soon as a Tsunami Warning is declared.
- He is still miles and fathoms and nautical miles and light years ahead of everyone else in baseball.
- On March 23, 1875, 13 days after leaving Nares Harbor, soundings indicated a depth of 4,475 fathoms or about 27,000 feet.
verb[with object] Back to top
1 [usually with negative] Understand (a difficult problem or an enigmatic person) after much thought: the locals could not fathom out the reason behind his new-found prosperity [with clause]: he couldn’t fathom why she was being so anxious
More example sentences
- I just can't fathom people who could have a quiet life, who don't have to be controversial for a living, but do it anyway.
- You can analyze a Mozart piano concerto note by note and still not fathom the genius of the whole piece.
- But I can't fathom anyone reading stories like this and not feeling the sting and burn of utter, abject shame.
understand, comprehend, work out, fathom out, make sense of, grasp, catch, follow, perceive, make out, penetrate, divine, search out, ferret out, puzzle out, take in, assimilate, absorb, get to the bottom of;
informal make head or tail of, take on board, get a fix on, get/catch the drift of, tumble to, crack, dig, get, get the picture, get the message, see what's what
North American informal savvy
2Measure the depth of (water): an attempt to fathom the ocean
- Example sentences
- It was her view that you couldn't fathom policy until the policymakers were made fathomable.
- Such developments may initially be unusable, only fathomable to geeks.
- Less fathomable are his attempts to justify his growing disenchantment with the job.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.
Most popular in the US
Most popular in the UK
Most popular in Canada
Most popular in Australia
Most popular in Spain
Most popular in Malaysia
Most popular in Pakistan