fathom

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fathom

1. a unit of length equal to six feet (1.829 metres), used to measure depths of water
2. Forestry a unit of volume equal to six cubic feet, used for measuring timber

fathom

[′fath·əm]
(oceanography)
The common unit of depth in the ocean, equal to 6 feet (1.8288 meters).
References in classic literature ?
"Three thousand six hundred and twenty-seven fathoms," replied the lieutenant, entering it in his notebook.
In certain parts of the ocean at the Antilles, under seventy-five fathoms of water, can be seen with surprising clearness a bed of sand.
Don Quixote kept calling to them to give him rope and more rope, and they gave it out little by little, and by the time the calls, which came out of the cave as out of a pipe, ceased to be heard they had let down the hundred fathoms of rope.
Mordaunt wanted now only two or three fathoms to reach the boat, for the approach of death seemed to give him supernatural strength.
Mumford, the second mate, was despatched with four hands, in the pinnace, to sound across the channel until he should find four fathoms depth.
"One fathom shell-money that fella dog," Van Horn countered, in his heart knowing that he would not sell Jerry for a hundred fathoms, or for any fabulous price from any black, but in his head offering so small a price over par as not to arouse suspicion among the blacks as to how highly he really valued the golden-coated son of Biddy and Terrence.
"Six fathoms your grandmother!" was the trader's retort.
"Oodles and oodles of it, gold and gold and better than gold, in cask and chest, in cask and chest, a fathom under the sand," the Ancient Mariner assured him in beneficent cackles.
And some in dreams assured were Of the spirit that plagued us so: Nine fathom deep he had followed us From the land of mist and snow.
Once more the master is heard: "Give her forty-five fathom to the water's edge," and then he, too, is done for a time.
So they sounded, an' got sixty fathom. 'That's me,' sez Counahan.
The day after he had been received into the Lodge, Pierre was sitting at home reading a book and trying to fathom the significance of the Square, one side of which symbolized God, another moral things, a third physical things, and the fourth a combination of these.