(fth or fath)
   a traditional unit of distance equal to 2 yards or 6 feet (approximately 1.829 meters). The word comes from the Old English fæthm, meaning "outstretched arms", because a fathom is the distance between a man's outstretched fingertips.
   This is a generic unit that has been used in many cultures since ancient times. Other versions include the Spanish braza, the French brasse and toise, the German klafter, the Danish favn (6.18 feet or 1.88 meters), the Swedish famn (5.84 feet or 1.78 meters) and the Japanese ken. In England, the fathom was a common unit during Saxon times, and it continued to be used for many purposes through the medieval era. In fact, the length of the foot may have been defined, early in the twelfth century, specifically to assure that 1 foot = exactly 1/6 fathom. Today the fathom is used almost exclusively at sea, measuring water depth, the length of ships' cables, etc.

Dictionary of units of measurement. 2015.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fathom — Comic Auteur Michael Turner Scénario Billy O Neil Vince Hernandez Geoff Johns J. T. Krul Dessin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fathom — Fath om (f[a^][th] [u^]m), 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,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fathom — ● fathom nom masculin (anglais fathom) Unité anglo saxonne de longueur, utilisée pour les profondeurs marines, équivalant à 6 feet ou 2 yards (environ 1,83 m). fathom [fazɔm] n. m. ÉTYM. Mil. XVIIIe; angl. fathom « longueur couverte par les deux… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • fathom — vb Fathom, sound, plumb all mean to measure the depth (as of a body of water) typically with a weighted line. Fathom implies a measuring in fathoms (units of six feet). Sound typically suggests the use of a sounding line in measuring, but it may… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • fathom — FATHÓM s.m. (mar.) Unitate de măsură pentru lungimi, folosită la măsurarea adâncimilor, a parâmelor şi a lanţurilor de ancoră, egală cu 1,852 m. [pron. fatom. / < engl. fathom]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 21.03.2005. Sursa: DN  FATHOM TÓM/ s. m …   Dicționar Român

  • Fathom — bezeichnet: eine nautische Längeneinheit, siehe Nautischer Faden eine Geldeinheit, siehe Fathom (Geld) eine Serie des Comiczeichners Michael Turner eine Comicserie von Image Comics, siehe Fathom (Comic) Diese Seit …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • fathom — a unit of measurement of depth, is unchanged in the plural when preceded by a number, i.e. six fathom deep but several fathoms deep …   Modern English usage

  • fathom — ► NOUN ▪ a unit of length equal to six feet (1.8 metres), used in measuring the depth of water. ► VERB 1) understand after much thought: I can t fathom him out. 2) measure the depth of. DERIVATIVES fathomable adjective fathomless adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • 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. [1913 Webster] 2. To measure by a sounding line;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fathom — (spr. Fäddhom), englisches Maß, so v.w. Faden (s.d.) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Fathom — (engl., spr. fädhöm, Faden), engl. Längenmaß von 2 Yards …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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