F f


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [fath -uh m]
    • /ˈfæð əm/
    • /ˈfæð.əm/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [fath -uh m]
    • /ˈfæð əm/

Definitions of fathom word

  • noun plural fathom a unit of length equal to six feet (1.8 meters): used chiefly in nautical measurements. Abbreviation: fath. 1
  • verb with object fathom to measure the depth of by means of a sounding line; sound. 1
  • verb with object fathom to penetrate to the truth of; comprehend; understand: to fathom someone's motives. 1
  • noun fathom A unit of length equal to six feet (approximately 1.8 m), chiefly used in reference to the depth of water. 1
  • noun fathom measure of water depth 1
  • transitive verb fathom measure water depth 1

Information block about the term

Origin of fathom

First appearance:

before 900
One of the 4% oldest English words
before 900; Middle English fathme, Old English fæthm span of outstretched arms; cognate with German Faden six-foot measure, Old Norse fathmr; akin to patent

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Fathom


fathom popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 83% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

fathom usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for fathom

verb fathom

  • pinpoint — the point of a pin.
  • appreciate — If you appreciate something, for example a piece of music or good food, you like it because you recognize its good qualities.
  • plumb — J(ohn) H(arold) 1911–2001, British historian.
  • comprehend — If you cannot comprehend something, you cannot understand it.
  • unravel — to separate or disentangle the threads of (a woven or knitted fabric, a rope, etc.).

Antonyms for fathom

verb fathom

  • misunderstand — to take (words, statements, etc.) in a wrong sense; understand wrongly.
  • guess — to arrive at or commit oneself to an opinion about (something) without having sufficient evidence to support the opinion fully: to guess a person's weight.
  • misinterpret — Interpret (something or someone) wrongly.
  • lose — to come to be without (something in one's possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery: I'm sure I've merely misplaced my hat, not lost it.
  • miss — to fail to hit or strike: to miss a target.

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See also

Matching words

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