|1.||a unit of length equal to six feet (1.829 metres), used to measure depths of water|
|2.||mining a unit of volume usually equal to six cubic feet, used in measuring ore bodies|
|3.||forestry a unit of volume equal to six cubic feet, used for measuring timber|
|4.||to measure the depth of, esp with a sounding line; sound|
|5.||to penetrate (a mystery, problem, etc); discover the meaning of|
|[Old English fæthm; related to Old Frisian fethem outstretched arms, Old Norse fathmr embrace, Old High German fadum cubit, Latin patēre to gape]|
(Old A.S. faethm, "bosom," or the outstretched arms), a span of six feet (Acts 27:28). Gr. orguia (from orego, "I stretch"), the distance between the extremities of both arms fully stretched out.