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Fathom   /fˈæðəm/   Listen
Fathom

noun
1.
A linear unit of measurement (equal to 6 feet) for water depth.  Synonym: fthm.
2.
(mining) a unit of volume (equal to 6 cubic feet) used in measuring bodies of ore.  Synonym: fthm.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Fathom" Quotes from Famous Books



... river and ancient cedar-trees, its venerable stables and imposing entrance gate, or the fact that it is one of those distinguished houses that have saved the life of an English king, we will not undertake to fathom. ...
— Secret Chambers and Hiding Places • Allan Fea

... friendly relations with Lupin and the many flattering proofs of his confidence which he has given me, there is one thing which I have never been quite able to fathom, and that is ...
— The Crystal Stopper • Maurice LeBlanc

... and raising a swell that was something cruel. It was one of these gales that tore away the bell from the lighthouse, though hung just over a hundred feet above water-level. As for us, I wonder now how the little boat held by its two-ton anchors, even with three hundred fathom of chain cable to bear the strain and jerk of it; but with the spindrift whipping our faces, and the hail cutting them, we didn't seem to have time to think of that. Bathsheba thought of it, though, ...
— Wandering Heath • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... we made the coast of Brazil; and on the 13th, anchored in eighteen fathom, in the great road of Rio de Janeiro. The city, which is large, and makes a handsome appearance, is governed by the viceroy of Brazil, who is perhaps, in fact, as absolute a sovereign as any upon earth. When I visited him, he received me in great form; above ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12 • Robert Kerr

... were not light, but were big and square; nor were they planed smooth, but were rough and strong. Upon the shields with mighty strength they smote each other with their sharp weapons, so that a fathom of each lance passes through the gleaming shields. But neither touches the other's flesh, nor was either lance cracked; each one, as quickly as he could, draws back his lance, and both rushing together, return to the fray. One against the other rides, and so fiercely ...
— Four Arthurian Romances - "Erec et Enide", "Cliges", "Yvain", and "Lancelot" • Chretien de Troyes

... deliverer; and he took great care not to let any one suspect or read the secret thoughts which he kept hid behind the pompous proclamations of his authority. He therefore answered evasively and vaguely those who came to fathom his designs, and to ...
— The Empress Josephine • Louise Muhlbach

... nation. Of all the governors and inspectors of schools who have been sent hither by England not a single one has taken the trouble to penetrate beneath the surface of the life of the Indian people and to fathom the soul of this religious and transcendentally gifted race. What contrasts are not the result! Here a holy river, priests, ascetics, yogis, fakirs, temples, shrines, mysterious doctrines, a manifold ritual; while side by side, without any transition, are ...
— The Coming Conquest of England • August Niemann

... to the coast, and extended northward to the equator. These roads were from twenty to twenty-five feet wide, were macadamized with pulverized stone mixed with lime and bituminous cement, and were walled in by strong walls "more than a fathom in thickness." In many places these roads were cut for leagues through the rock; great ravines were filled up with solid masonry; rivers were crossed by suspension bridges, used here ages before their introduction into Europe. Says Baldwin, "The builders ...
— The Antediluvian World • Ignatius Donnelly

... man can attain is the consciousness of his own thoughts and feelings, and a knowledge of himself which prepares him to fathom alien natures as well. There are people who are by nature endowed with such a gift and by experience develop it to practical uses. Thence springs the ability to conquer something, in a higher sense, from the world and ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. II • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... mountains, now shrank from the shadows on the wall; for it seemed to her as if this house, and every heart within it, were full of dark, strange, spectres; bad thoughts haunting these souls like ghosts; evil passions lurking beneath fair outward appearances; and words full of meaning which she could not fathom ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 5, No. 3, March, 1852 • Various

... Mooween; you may be eager and even anxious to meet him; but when you double the point or push into the blueberry patch and, suddenly, there he is, blocking the path ahead, looking intently into your eyes to fathom at a glance your intentions, then, I fancy, the experience is like that of people who have the inquisitive habit of looking under their beds nightly for a burglar, and at last find him there, stowed away snugly, just where they always ...
— Wood Folk at School • William J. Long

... had not much of a clue to her emotions; but she was trying hard to fathom what was passing in the girl's mind, and she came very near the mark. She stooped down and kissed ...
— Brooke's Daughter - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... foreyard; then McGuffey ran aft and took the wheel while Mr. Gibney scuttled forward, eased up the compressor on the windlass, and permitted the anchor chain to pay out rapidly. With the hammer, he knocked out the pin at the forty-five fathom shackle and leaving the anchor to go by the board, for it worried him no longer, the bark Chesapeake moved gently off on a west-sou'-west course that would keep her three points off the land. She had sufficient head sail on now to hold ...
— Captain Scraggs - or, The Green-Pea Pirates • Peter B. Kyne

... person, should have set himself to advance her brother's cause by such unscrupulous blackening of Somerset's character was more than her sagacity could fathom. Her brother was, as far as she could see, the only man who could directly profit by the machination, and was therefore the natural one to suspect of having set it going. But she would not be so disloyal as to entertain the thought long; and ...
— A Laodicean • Thomas Hardy

... do such things and not to be afraid. And they all splashed into the water that was on the top of the wharf. Then they let out the ropes from that end, but they didn't let them go. And the Industry lay out in the river, at anchor, about five fathoms from the end of the wharf. A fathom is six feet, and sailors generally measure distances in fathoms ...
— The Sandman: His Sea Stories • William J. Hopkins

... brilliant, mild, and of a clear azure blue. But the most skillful physiognomists, those divers into the soul, on fixing their looks upon it, if it had been possible for a subject to sustain the glance of the king,—the most skillful physiognomists, we say, would never have been able to fathom the depths of that abyss of mildness. It was with the eyes of the king as with the immense depths of the azure heavens, or with those more terrific, and almost as sublime, which the Mediterranean ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... enough that the presence of the loyal Imperialist with the baleful eye meant a reversal in his own case too. But the recent and very definite animus of Lopez against him he could in no way fathom. The blackmailer testified again. The prisoner, this Americano, had waylaid him in the wood two days before, and had robbed him of his ...
— The Missourian • Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle

... he's coming. 'Nother fathom, and I'll get the hook into him. Haul steady. He's, done. ...
— Rob Harlow's Adventures - A Story of the Grand Chaco • George Manville Fenn

... to understand that by a little manoeuvring he might get at his meal. Repelled by the open network of twigs, he swims forlornly round and round the beds, so near and yet so far, with what anguish of heart only the lover of oysters can fathom. ...
— Faces and Places • Henry William Lucy

... gold," should be salutary for all-men who were now driven forward with a whip, laughed to scorn by their new masters, and forced to drink the bitter draught of humiliation along with the sweet poison of bribery. They were warned to study well the intercepted letters of Curiel, in order fully to fathom the deep designs and secret contempt of ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... at sight whether certain persons attract or repel you, through some unknown, nameless influence that you are unable to fathom; so, in like degree, can you decide—that is, if you possess a naturally sensitive mind—whether they are drawn towards yourself or remain antipathetical. I know that I can tell without asking them, if people whom I see for the first time are likely to fancy me or not; ...
— She and I, Volume 1 • John Conroy Hutcheson

... the thoughts that surged through Van's mind as he and Bob settled themselves into their places on the train and began the attempt to fathom the reams of directions Mr. Blake had sent them; pages and pages there were of what to do and what not to do on the long trip, the letter ...
— The Story of Sugar • Sara Ware Bassett

... center my thought upon books and music, friends, travel, and devotion to Uncle Tom. I have developed this power of concentration and self-denial; but would you bring me to live over again what I lived with Uncle Tom? Oh, my friend, no man can understand and fathom the maternal desire in a woman. It is a mystery ...
— Children of the Market Place • Edgar Lee Masters

... wrote you something that would run. You do me justice when you give me credit for good intentions; but the extent of my good-will and strong and warm interest in you personally and your great undertaking, you cannot fathom nor express. ...
— The Letters of Charles Dickens - Vol. 1 (of 3), 1833-1856 • Charles Dickens

... But if a sage comes to you with an invention which might change the face of the world, ye ask straightway: 'What is the use of this?' It is clear that ye are frightened lest the investigator might ask a handful of barley for a thing the sense of which your mind does not fathom." ...
— The Pharaoh and the Priest - An Historical Novel of Ancient Egypt • Boleslaw Prus

... could fathom yon fellow's mind," I said to my comrade, as we stepped out through the snow and into the wooded brae-side, keeping a wary eye about for spies of the enemy, whose footprints we came on here and there, but so faint in the fresh snowfall ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... been a dresser at the window: what had become of the salt-bucket, the meal-tub, the hams that should be hanging from the rafters? There were no rafters; it was a papered ceiling. She had often heard of open beds, but how came she to be lying in one? To fathom these things she would try to spring out of bed and be startled to find it a labour, as if she had been taken ill in the night. Hearing her move I might knock on the wall that separated us, this being a sign, prearranged between us, that I was near by, and ...
— Margaret Ogilvy • James M. Barrie

... the Betty in rather gingerly, for it was over three years since I had visited the spot. Joyce kept on sounding diligently with the lead either side of the boat, and at last we brought up in about one and a half fathom, just comfortably out of ...
— A Rogue by Compulsion • Victor Bridges

... some pleasant secret behind this, a secret that none is wise enough to fathom. The infinite fund of disinterested humane kindliness that is adrift in the world is part of the riddle, the insoluble riddle of life that is born in our blood and tissue. It is agreeable to think that no man, save by his own gross fault, ever went through life unfriended, ...
— Pipefuls • Christopher Morley

... hard at her face, as though trying to fathom the reason of her request, or at least to detect some scornful look upon her face to agree with her sneering words. But he was no match for the unparalleled astuteness of Atossa, though he had a vague suspicion that she wished to annoy him by calling up a memory which she ...
— Marzio's Crucifix and Zoroaster • F. Marion Crawford

... any suspicion among others who might be prowling round, such is the distrust of one German of another. After he had shut the door his manner changed completely and he was disposed to be affable. But I resented his intrusion. Had he come to fathom me? Was he an emissary seeking to induce me to commit myself inadvertently? Frankly I thought so. He spoke softly and his voice was intentionally kind, while ...
— Sixteen Months in Four German Prisons - Wesel, Sennelager, Klingelputz, Ruhleben • Henry Charles Mahoney

... wide-open eyes. That a life should be wrecked for a mere question of family pride was something her mind could not fathom. ...
— The Fortunes of Oliver Horn • F. Hopkinson Smith

... disturbed in consequence of the agitation caused within them by the Lord Govinda of immeasurable prowess when he had assumed the form of a wild boar for raising the (submerged) Earth. Its bottom, lower than the nether regions, the vow observing regenerate Rishi Atri could not fathom after (toiling for) a hundred years. It becomes the bed of the lotus-naveled Vishnu when at the termination of every Yuga that deity of immeasurable power enjoys yoga-nidra, the deep sleep under the spell ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... they ought never to have listened, or, at least, should have endeavored to fathom, going direct to the person concerned ...
— Gold Dust - A Collection of Golden Counsels for the Sanctification of Daily Life • E. L. E. B.

... not much water here, Joe," for a man had been heaving the lead, ever since they had changed their course. "We have not got a fathom under her keel. You see, the frigate did not like to come any closer. She would have cut us off, if there had ...
— Held Fast For England - A Tale of the Siege of Gibraltar (1779-83) • G. A. Henty

... Isle there is good pebble (M47) stone to drie fish vpon: But to the West thereof there is a very faire countrey: and there is a banke of sande, which runneth the length of a cable, hauing not past one fathom water vpon it. From the sayd Isle along the firme land the coast lyeth East and West, and you shall see as it were a great forrest running eastward: and the Easterne Cape is called Cape du Chapt, and is great and red toward ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of - the English Nation. Vol. XIII. America. Part II. • Richard Hakluyt

... Mr. Fenelby could not fathom Kitty laughed merrily at this, and then they all went in to dinner. It was a very good dinner, of the kind that Bridget could prepare when she was in the humor, and they sat rather longer over it than usual, and then Mr. Fenelby proposed that he should step over to the Rankins' and ...
— The Cheerful Smugglers • Ellis Parker Butler

... Roderick's heart, but he had to master his own agony a moment, in the effort to support Pauline who had utterly broken down. When she had recovered sufficiently, he protested tenderly that there was a mystery in all this which he was unable to fathom, and entreated her to help him discover it by telling him minutely all that had happened since they had last met. She gradually summoned strength and composure enough to do so, relating in detail the scene in Cathedral square; the arrival of the Lieutenant-Governor's ...
— The Bastonnais - Tale of the American Invasion of Canada in 1775-76 • John Lesperance

... "fountains of the great deep shall be broken up," "the channels of the waters seen," and all discovered to be one vast revelation of unerring wisdom and ineffable love! Here we are often baffled at the Lord's dispensations; we cannot fathom His ways:—like the well of Sychar, they are deep, and we have nothing to draw with. But soon the "mystery of God will be finished;" the enigmatical "seals," with all their inner meanings, opened. When that "morning without clouds" shall break, each soul will be like ...
— The Words of Jesus • John R. Macduff

... an omen, a presage of that dust which awaits my still unfinished work? Who can fathom ...
— The Ink-Stain, Complete • Rene Bazin

... with tears on my face, while she held both my hands, in the most melting accents exclaimed, 'Miss Borni, la plus chre, la plus digne des Anglaises, dites—moi—m'aimez vous?'" Miss Burney is quite sensibly frank in her inability to fathom this imbecility. Ludmilla Assing ("Sophie la Roche," Berlin, 1859, pp. 273-280) calls ...
— Laurence Sterne in Germany • Harvey Waterman Thayer

... in Gloria's cheeks when they started. King sought to guess at what might be the emotions of a young girl going on with Gloria's present emotional adventure—vain task of a mere man seeking to fathom those troubled feminine depths!—marking that she was a little ...
— The Everlasting Whisper • Jackson Gregory

... puzzled Babbacombe—his total lack of shame or penitence, his savagery of resentment. There was something behind it all—something he could not fathom, that baffled him, however he sought to approach it. In days gone by he had wondered if the fellow had a heart. That wonder was still in his mind. He himself had utterly failed to reach it if it existed. And Cynthia—even Cynthia—had failed. Yet, somehow, vaguely, he had a feeling that ...
— The Swindler and Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... them till the particles of salt are well separated, and pass with the water into a vessel placed below to receive them. This water, now strongly impregnated, is boiled till the salt adheres in a thick crust to the bottom and sides of the vessel. In burning a square fathom of firewood a skilful person procures about five gallons of salt. What is thus made has so considerable a mixture of the salt of the wood that it soon dissolves, and cannot be carried far into the country. The coarsest grain ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... down a quarter-tumbler of raw trade-gin. "Fella boy belong me you catch short time little bit. This fella boy strong fella too much. I give you fella one case tobacco—my word, one case tobacco. Then, you good fella along me, I give you three fathom calico, one fella knife big ...
— Adventure • Jack London

... straits, we stood off and on under easy sail all night, constantly heaving the lead, being eight or nine leagues off the Arabian coast. About noon of the 15th we opened the straits, and at night anchored in fifteen and a half fathom, on black oose, three leagues from the Arabian, and ten from the Abyssinian shore, the weather being so clear that we could distinctly ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. VIII. • Robert Kerr

... sense it has ever been my strenuous endeavor to fathom the secret of the inception of constitutional diseases; but the entire medical literature did not advance me further than pathological anatomy, which informs us that the original cause of disease is a change in the form of the cellular elements of different digestive organs,—in explanation ...
— Valere Aude - Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration • Louis Dechmann

... an opportunity of going, unnoticed, to a bear-stack, and fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the last time, you will catch in your arms the appearance ...
— Robert Burns - How To Know Him • William Allan Neilson

... up she saw that the Saturday Review was laid aside, and the tired blue eyes on her face—when is it otherwise now?—and giving one little sigh as she smiled, the sigh being for Del Castello, gone out in his loneliness, and the smile for him. But poor Lionel did not know her heart. Man cannot fathom the depths of woman's nature. They both may stand on the brink of a deep clear river, as he looks with her into its transparent mirror he only sees the reflection of her loveliness, for her heart is deep as the bed of the river; but when she sees his face reflected, his heart is laid bare. ...
— A Heart-Song of To-day • Annie Gregg Savigny

... Park, Captain Morville returned to make his farewell visit at Hollywell, before joining his regiment at Cork, whence it was to sail for the Mediterranean. He reckoned much on this visit, for not even Laura herself could fathom the depth of his affection for her, strengthening in the recesses where he so sternly concealed it, and viewing her ever as more faultless since she had been his own. While she was his noble, strong-minded, generous, fond Laura, he could bear with his disappointment in his sister, with ...
— The Heir of Redclyffe • Charlotte M. Yonge

... a flash, and in it were womanliness and purity, and something beyond his comprehension. Her Indian serenity and mysticism veiled yet suggested some secret, some power by which she might yet escape the iron band of this Mormon rule. Hare could not fathom it. In that good-night glance was a meaning for him alone, if meaning ever shone in woman's eyes, and it said: "I will be true ...
— The Heritage of the Desert • Zane Grey

... our hero with a modest look, "it may be, as you suggest, that Winnie Van der Kemp does not care for me more than for a fathom of ...
— Blown to Bits - The Lonely Man of Rakata, the Malay Archipelago • R.M. Ballantyne

... dear, explicable but unexplained. The most formidable men are her friends, and why? Nobody dares to fathom the mystery. Then is this person ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... Fathom deep men bury thee In the furnace dark and still. There, with dreariest mockery, 39 Making thee eat, against thy will, Blackest Pennsylvanian stone; But thou dost avenge thy doom, For, from out thy catacomb, Day and night thy wrath is blown In a withering simoom, And, ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... Mr. Hamon explained, were very free and independent, and hated to be driven. They did piecework—so much per fathom, and were constitutionally, he admitted, a bit more particular as to the so much than as to the fathom. While the Cornish and Welsh men, receiving weekly wages, had also grown slack and did far less work than they did at first and than they ...
— A Maid of the Silver Sea • John Oxenham

... she said, "if Maggie, instead of being bright and playful as she is, were weak and sick like Hester?" and her eyes fastened themselves upon Madam Conway with an agonizing intensity which that lady could not fathom. "Say, would you bear it as well—could you love her as much—would you change with me, take Hester for your own, and give me little Maggie?" she persisted, and Madam Conway, surprised at her excited manner, which she attributed in a measure to envy, ...
— Maggie Miller • Mary J. Holmes

... of the anchorage. He went with the boats and some armed men. At the foot of the cape there was the mouth of a fair river, and on entering it they found the width to be a hundred paces, with a depth of one fathom. Inside they found 12, 5, 4, and 2 fathoms, so that it would hold all the ships there are in Spain. Leaving the river, they came to a cove in which were five very large canoes,[164-1] so well constructed that it was a pleasure to look at them. They ...
— The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 • Various

... of forgiveness, whose hand upholdeth the life of all mankind!{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} First-born, omnipotent, whose heart is immensity, and there is none who may fathom it!{HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS} In heaven who is supreme? Thou alone, thou art supreme! On earth, who is supreme? Thou alone, thou art supreme! As for thee, thy will is made known in heaven, and the angels bow their faces. As for thee, thy will is made known ...
— Babylonians and Assyrians, Life and Customs • Rev. A. H. Sayce

... has made the Sacrifice of all sacrifices of giving His Son for our salvation. We can never fathom that mystery of Love Divine. Now, if he made this Sacrifice for only a part of mankind, as we formerly taught, we would be constrained to think of His Love as being limited and partial. In that case, we could think it possible that He might ...
— Love's Final Victory • Horatio

... the Gospel is simple, but it is also true that it is deep, and they will best appreciate its simplicity who have most honestly endeavoured to fathom its depth. When we let our little sounding lines out, and find that they do not reach the bottom, we begin to wonder even more at the transparency of the clear abyss. It is not simplicity in Christ, but towards Christ of which the Apostle ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... ever be young again? How full of the joy of life! Its currents swept by her unheeded now. Why had not God been merciful to her, that she could have died there upon the sea, she thought. Ah, poor humanity never learns His mercy; perhaps it is because we have no measure by which to fathom its mighty depths. She saw herself old and lonely, forgotten but not forgetting. But even then lacked she not opportunity; woman-like, in spite of her constancy, she took a melancholy pleasure ...
— For Love of Country - A Story of Land and Sea in the Days of the Revolution • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... the time that my spirit was not travelling to grasp some grown idea, to fathom the mystery of my being, to roll away the shadows that surrounded me, groping for light, toiling, then dreaming, not resting. It was no wonder I was weary before ...
— Ernest Linwood - or, The Inner Life of the Author • Caroline Lee Hentz

... he said at last. I came to a fathom and a half. 'That's the bank,' he said; 'we'll give it a bit of a berth and ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... He therefore assumed the same attitude as had Mr. Flint, and forced the burden of explanation upon Austen, relying surely on the disinclination of his son to be specific. And Austen, considering his relationship, could not be expected to fathom these ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... believed that his twenty-foot telescope was of power sufficient to fathom the Milky Way, that is, to see through it and beyond it, and to reduce all its nebulosities to ...
— Sir William Herschel: His Life and Works • Edward Singleton Holden

... not given to a humble man like myself, occupying a position of no authority, to fathom what may be in the minds of those great Princes of the Church, the Archbishops. In effect they rule the country, and it is possible that they prefer to place on the throne a drunken nonentity who will offer no impediment to their ambitions, rather than to elect a moral ...
— The Sword Maker • Robert Barr

... wood is the sajene (fathom.) and a sajene of wood is a pile a fathom long, wide, and high. The Russian marine fathom measures six feet like our own, but the land fathom is seven feet. It is by the land fathom that everything on solid earth is measured. A stick seven feet long is somewhat inconvenient, ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... dipped down a very little way from the horizontal, scarcely more than two inches in a fathom, and the stream ran gently murmuring at our feet. I compared it to a friendly genius guiding us underground, and caressed with my hand the soft naiad, whose comforting voice accompanied our steps. With my reviving spirits these mythological ...
— A Journey to the Interior of the Earth • Jules Verne

... physician who spent many years in this very district of Maine in the seventeenth century, says, that the tips of their horns "are sometimes found to be two fathoms asunder,"—and he is particular to tell us that a fathom is six feet,—"and [they are] in height, from the toe of the forefoot to the pitch of the shoulder, twelve foot, both which hath been taken by some of my sceptique readers to be monstrous lies"; and he adds,—"There are certain ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 10, August, 1858 • Various

... current setting them rapidly over to the eastern breakers, they were obliged to let go an anchor to save them from destruction. They could see nothing of the buoy, and no doubt was entertained that it was washed away by the current. Their anchorage was in three and a half fathom water, and the ground swell, which then set in, heaved the vessel up and down in such a frightful manner, that they expected every moment to see the chain cable break. As soon as they dropped their anchor, the tide rushed past ...
— Lander's Travels - The Travels of Richard Lander into the Interior of Africa • Robert Huish

... not bother about trying to fathom Jim's little secret. He fancied that it would all be made plain shortly; certainly when they happened upon the stern old man who was day after day cheating himself out of happiness, by refusing to let bygones be bygones, and accept things as ...
— The Boy Scouts in the Maine Woods - The New Test for the Silver Fox Patrol • Herbert Carter

... TOBY," said HANBURY, beating his chest in default of getting at the Treasury's; "but there's a dark mystery under this business which I mean to fathom. You remember the case of another chest ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, May 27, 1893 • Various

... how—how to say it." She was studying his face with a strange, hungry eagerness, which he failed to fathom. "Children are so odd, Alfred, and have so many fancies that they conjure up themselves. I reckon he's heard Ma and Aunt Mandy talking about—well, about the big piece of luck that has come to you all. You know women that have never had a windfall in any shape through their ...
— Dixie Hart • Will N. Harben

... see the man he once sneered at the husband of the woman he once loved; to recall impotent regret. I know his nature, and can stir him to his heart's core with a look, revenge myself with a word, and read the secrets of his life with a skill he cannot fathom." ...
— Pauline's Passion and Punishment • Louisa May Alcott

... mouth, closed it and stared at him, struck by his expression, striving uneasily to fathom hidden depths ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... a sign indicating that he wished to remain neutral. He felt that there was an intrigue at the bottom of it, whether comedy or tragedy; he was at his wit's end at not being able to fathom it, but in the meanwhile wished to ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... though inexplicable to uninitiated spectators, to those who cherish even a corruscation of mental light, speak volumes of information; and such it was that Eleanor cast upon John Ferguson. What was conveyed in that look we will not pretend to fathom; but simply affirm that its effect was an entire derangement of the love-sick swain's determination to forget the cause of his wretchedness, and a dispersion of every idea save the one ruling sentiment of love for her. Thus, in a moment, discretion was forgotten, and resolution ...
— Fern Vale (Volume 1) - or the Queensland Squatter • Colin Munro

... well at such a speed; it is injurious to the human body. But our course was straight north. Dr. Brende showed it to me on his chart—north, following the 70th West Meridian. Compass corrections as we got further north—and astronomical readings, these would take us direct to the Pole. I could never fathom this air navigation; I flew by tower lights, and landmarks—but to Dr. Brende and Georg, the mathematics of it ...
— Tarrano the Conqueror • Raymond King Cummings

... this until to-day, when I have a new domestic event to relate. Maria, no longer a music mistress, has leased the Opal Farm, it seems, and will remain with me this winter pending the repairing of the house, which Amos Opie himself is to superintend. I wish I could fathom the ins and outs of the matter, which are not at present clear, but probably I shall know in time. Meanwhile, I have Maria for a winter companion, and a mystery to solve and puzzle about; is ...
— The Garden, You, and I • Mabel Osgood Wright

... change which had for the last year appeared in the conduct of Sieur de Cinq-Mars, our grand equerry, made us resolve, as soon as we perceived it, to carefully keep watch on his actions and his words, in order to fathom them and discover what could be the cause. To this end, we resolved to let him act and speak with us more freely than heretofore." And in a letter written straight to the chancellor, the king exclaims in wrath, ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... sighted a cape of the said coast, off which we sounded in from 45 to 70 fathom, but shortly after we got no bottom, and in the evening the land ...
— The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765 • J. E. Heeres

... Pisander," exclaimed Agias, all amazement, "what is the matter? Your speech is as obscure as Cinna's[92] poem called 'Zmyrna,' which I've heard was ten years in being written, and must be very fine, because no one can understand it. No more can I fathom you." ...
— A Friend of Caesar - A Tale of the Fall of the Roman Republic. Time, 50-47 B.C. • William Stearns Davis

... world found nothing but faults, and also to see faults where the world could see nothing but virtue. The experience thus gained cost me the bloom of youth; yet I would not exchange it for a life of everlasting juvenescence. To keep up appearances is the aim of every one's life; but to fathom these appearances, and judge correctly of what is beneath them, ought to be the aim of those who seek to draw true conclusions from life, or to benefit others ...
— A Practical Illustration of Woman's Right to Labor - A Letter from Marie E. Zakrzewska, M.D. Late of Berlin, Prussia • Marie E. Zakrzewska

... said; "if you signal to them to veer out some more rope I could soon do it. I could not swim across the tide now, but if it were twenty fathom further astern I could ...
— A Chapter of Adventures • G. A. Henty

... have been so trained by the agitators in the art of deception, that it is almost impossible for those who have not an accurate and perfect knowledge of their objects, and their practices, to fathom their intentions, or to detect their impositions. They are always ready, always prepared, with arrangements to support their statements. Perhaps a better instance to exemplify their disregard of truth, and the lengths they will go to attain their objects, cannot be adduced, than one which we ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 367, May 1846 • Various

... some in dreams assurd were Of the Spirit that plagued us so; Nine fathom deep he had followed us From the land ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... probability of his falling, and always thought that the odds were in favour of his falling. And to be perfectly frank (my object in writing this book is to tell the truth), nobody regretted the probability! If we had really known what kind of a man he was, if we had been able then to fathom beneath the forbidding externals, we might have felt very differently about it. But it is not given to man to know the future or even to discern the heart of his most intimate acquaintance! We only saw in him a man who was ...
— At Ypres with Best-Dunkley • Thomas Hope Floyd

... like that Boy's I shall never see. How often I have pleased myself that one day I should send to you this Morning Star of mine, and stay at home so gladly behind such a representative. I dare not fathom the Invisible and Untold to inquire what relations to my ...
— Ralph Waldo Emerson • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... to forgive, dear," was my reply, as, placing my arm tenderly about her slim waist, I looked into the depths of those wonderful dark eyes of hers, trying to fathom what secret ...
— The Sign of Silence • William Le Queux

... some of them—for instance, my long experience of gambling places—Homburg, Wiesbaden, Baden-Baden, old Monaco, and new Monte Carlo—would make good magazine padding, if I got the stuff handled the right way. I never could fathom why verse was put in magazines; it has something to do with the making-up, has it not? I am scribbling a lot just now; if you are taken badly that way, apply to the South Seas. I could send you some, I believe, anyway, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... the leaves of the book of the past, and study its economic aspect, as we have studied its political and literary aspect. We must follow living nations through their divers periods of development, and fathom the causes of the destruction of those that are dead. When we are dealing with the comparative study of the economic destinies of nations, our investigations are limited to a small number of individual nations—a further ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... grappled at once with the problem of Induction, postponing that of Reasoning, on the ground that it is necessary to obtain premises before we can reason from them. Now, Induction is mainly a process for finding the causes of effects: and in attempting to fathom the mode of tracing causes and effects in physical science, I soon saw that in the more perfect of the sciences, we ascend, by generalization from particulars, to the tendencies of causes considered ...
— Autobiography • John Stuart Mill

... in dealing with such a man as Andrew Johnson, it is the part of wisdom to suspect the worst. Without any special knowledge of the treasonable intrigue now going on in Washington, it is still possible to fathom the President's designs, and to understand the resources on which he relies. In the first place, his conceit makes him believe that he is the first man in the nation, and that he is not only adored at the South, but popular at the North. The slightest sign of reaction in ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... Dorothy, God help me! God help me, I will speak!" said John, as he caught the girl to his breast in a fierce embrace. "I love you, I love you! God Himself only knows how deeply, how passionately! I do not know. I cannot fathom its depths. With all my heart and soul, with every drop of blood that pulses through my veins, I love you—I adore you. Give me your lips, my beauty, ...
— Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall • Charles Major

... not quite fathom all this, but the more he thought of what Frye had said the more certain he became that kindly regard for his own welfare did not enter into that shrewd schemer's calculations. He was more and more disgusted, also, each ...
— Uncle Terry - A Story of the Maine Coast • Charles Clark Munn

... 'make straight paths for our feet,' so in this instance I have preferred giving my child present pain in order that he may escape future and greater trials. Ah! Margaret, he may think I am harsh in this case, as he cannot fathom my motive; and how often do we judge hardly of the dealings of our kind heavenly Father when he thwarts us in some favourite wish, or smiles not on our undertaking. Be assured that only those who commit their way ...
— Watch—Work—Wait - Or, The Orphan's Victory • Sarah A. Myers

... "My present plan is to remain perfectly quiescent, and I have told Croisenois not to make a move of any kind. I have an eye and ear watching and listening when they think themselves in perfect privacy. Very soon I shall fathom their plans, and then—, but in the meantime have faith in me, and do not let the ...
— Caught In The Net • Emile Gaboriau

... often had Jean spoken to her of Father Austin; she loved him already, but she had yet to fathom the nobleness of his soul. His single-heartedness and abnegation of self, his tenderness and quick sympathy (virtues tempering his fierce abhorrence of Paganism), his stern reprobation of the evil, and his yearning for the good, ...
— The Forest of Vazon - A Guernsey Legend Of The Eighth Century • Anonymous

... set forth in the local and London and provincial journals. Widely as it was discussed, and many as were the theories offered, no one could fathom the mystery. But all agreed that the failure of the police to find a clue was inexplicable. It was difficult enough to understand how the assassin could have murdered Bolton and opened the packing case, and removed the mummy to replace it by the body of his victim in a house filled with ...
— The Green Mummy • Fergus Hume

... string of bait, consisting mainly of flounders and sculpins, was tied into each trap. About 50 traps were used by each fisherman, and they were hauled once a day. The warps or buoy lines, by which the traps were lowered and hauled, were cut in 12-fathom lengths. Lobsters were so abundant at the Muscle Ridges, at this period, that four men could fully supply Captain Oakes with lobsters every trip. In the course of ten days each man would obtain between 1,200 and 1,500 marketable lobsters. In Captain Oakes' ...
— The Lobster Fishery of Maine - Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, Vol. 19, Pages 241-265, 1899 • John N. Cobb

... you, Mr. Murray, first of all, have done this poem great injustice. There are levities here and there, more than good taste approves, but nothing to make such a terrible rout about—nothing so bad as "Tom Jones," nor within a hundred degrees of "Count Fathom." ...
— A Publisher and His Friends • Samuel Smiles

... of the lodging-house is at right angles to the road, and looks out upon a little garden, so that you see the side of the house in section, as it were, from the Rue Nueve-Sainte-Genevieve. Beneath the wall of the house front there lies a channel, a fathom wide, paved with cobble-stones, and beside it runs a graveled walk bordered by geraniums and oleanders and pomegranates set in great blue and white glazed earthenware pots. Access into the graveled walk is afforded by a door, above which the words MAISON VAUQUER may be read, and beneath, ...
— Father Goriot • Honore de Balzac

... and impassive she felt her to be, a shiver ran through her as she did so. It was as if she had touched the dead, and she long afterwards thought of it. There was a mystery in this strange girl that Amelie could not fathom nor guess the meaning of. They left the Cathedral together. It was now quite empty, save of a lingering penitent or two kneeling at the shrines. Angelique and Amelie parted at the door, the one eastward, the other westward, and, carried away by the divergent currents ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... some notoriety and a reputation for sanctity, her prophesyings before long took the form of denunciation of the divorce, at that time in its earlier stages. She was exploited by sundry fanatical persons honest or otherwise—in such cases it is seldom possible to fathom the extent to which mania, intentional deception, conscious or unconscious suggestion, and mere credulity, are mingled. In those days, there were few people who would venture to attribute such phenomena to purely natural causes. ...
— England Under the Tudors • Arthur D. Innes

... love is the desire to fathom a most interesting secret, indispensable to us all. The beloved maiden attracts us, as a ray of light attracts the wanderer in the dark. Yet we know that every creature of her kind can shed this radiance about her, and that it is simply our own ...
— The Bride of Dreams • Frederik van Eeden

... exposition which Bruno gave to his opinions in a series of Italian dialogues and Latin poems will not discourage those of his admirers who estimate the conspicuous failure made by all elaborate system-builders from Aristotle to Hegel. To fathom the mystery of the world, and to express that mystery in terms of logic, is clearly beyond the faculty of man. Philosophies that aim at universe-embracing, God-explaining, nature-elucidating, man-illuminating, comprehensiveness, have justly, therefore, become objects ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... haven't paid yet for the barge, and then fifty five-fathom beams were taken from him not long ago. If he wants everything at once—don't give. A rouble is a sticky thing; the longer it turns about in your hand, the more copecks will stick to it. A rouble is like a good pigeon—it goes up in the air, you turn around ...
— Foma Gordyeff - (The Man Who Was Afraid) • Maxim Gorky

... fascinating ideal life she had seen a lover with whom she could walk down through the years, whose life would touch hers at all points, who could fathom the depths of the nature that so puzzled herself, who could measure and supply the yearning reaches of intellect; who could awake in her soul a love, strong, deep, and unquestioning, so fervent, indeed, that she would turn from all other dreams and desires to ...
— Hope Mills - or Between Friend and Sweetheart • Amanda M. Douglas

... on a communion Sunday," the Elder had said, with an expression on his face which Draxy could not quite fathom; "I can't tell you what it 'ud be to me to promise myself over again to the blessed Saviour, the same hour I promise to you, darling, I'm so afraid of loving Him less. I don't see how I can remember anything about heaven, after I've got you, Draxy," ...
— Saxe Holm's Stories • Helen Hunt Jackson

... which they took together Steve asked Miss Grace how she happened to come from her home way up in New York down to Kentucky to teach mountain boys and girls, and she was silent a moment, a look which he could not fathom coming over her bright face. At last she said, "I was very foolish; I threw away happiness. Then I heard of this work and came here that I might redeem my life by ...
— The Boy from Hollow Hut - A Story of the Kentucky Mountains • Isla May Mullins

... Germanic in its character, alliteration was known to the Latins, especially in early times, and Cicero blames Ennius for writing "O Tite tute, Tati, tibi tanta, tyranne, tulisti.'' Lucretius did not disdain to employ it as an ornament. We read in Shakespeare:— "Full fathom five thy father lies: Of his bones are corals made.'' In Pope:— "Here files of pins extend their shining rows, Puffs, powders, patches, bibles, billet-doux.', In Gray:— "Weave the warp and weave the woof, The winding-sheet of Edward's race.'' In Coleridge:- "The fair ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... discover it. Without staying to consider whether they had done so or not, William had come down from his perch; and now that he had reapplied himself to the oar, and saw that he was gaining ground in the right direction, he did not like to desist. Every fathom he made to windward was a fathom nearer to the saving of the lives of his companions,—a stroke less for the swimmers to make,—to whom, wearied as they must now be, the saving of even a single stroke might ...
— The Ocean Waifs - A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea • Mayne Reid

... story is, it is before you. If in its perusal you fathom my intentions, my hopes, my desires, I shall have been repaid for the pain its writing has brought me. At least you will find the history of a colossal business affair involving millions of dollars and manned by the financial leaders of the moment. It is a fair representation ...
— Frenzied Finance - Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated • Thomas W. Lawson

... When it was flowing nicely just astern, the order, "Slack away," was given; the wire being paid out evenly by means of the friction-brakes. In one thousand five hundred fathoms of water, after the two-thousand-fathom mark had passed out, the order was given, "Hold on and make fast." Speed was now reduced to one and a half knots and the wire watched until it gave a decided indication of the trawl dragging over ...
— The Home of the Blizzard • Douglas Mawson

... moment, looked at me in a way I could not fathom, and then, but only after a little choking sound in ...
— The Gold Bag • Carolyn Wells

... start, ma'am. See that pepper-and-salt egg on the string there? It's a Tommy Noddy's. Philip got it nesting up Gob-ny-Garvain. Nearly cost him his life, though. You see, ma'am, Tommy Noddy has only one, and she fights like mad for it. We were up forty fathom and better, atop of a cave, and had two straight rocks below us in the sea, same as an elephant's hoofs, you know, walking out on the blue floor. And Phil was having his lil hand on the ledge where the egg was keeping, when swoop came the big white wings atop of his bare head. If I hadn't ...
— The Manxman - A Novel - 1895 • Hall Caine

... And goldener than green, they burst Their thick full buds and take the breeze. Here, when November stripped the trees, I came to wrestle with a grief: Solace I sought not, nor relief. I shed no tears, I craved no grace, I fain would see Grief face to face, Fathom her awful eyes at length, Measure my strength against her strength. I wondered why the Preacher saith, "Like as the grass that withereth." The late, close blades still waved around: I clutched a handful from the ground. "He mocks us cruelly," I said: "The frail herb lives, and she ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, April 1875, Vol. XV., No. 88 • Various

... difficulty in understanding the particular manner of her thinking, but according as her action does or does not appear to be of the same character as other action that we commonly call thoughtful. To say that the cat is not intelligent, merely on the ground that we cannot ourselves fathom her intelligence—this, as I have elsewhere said, is to make intelligence mean the power of being understood, rather than the power of understanding. This nevertheless is what, for all our boasted intelligence, we generally do. The more we can understand an animal's ways, the more intelligent we ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... them to perform acts which to us are incomprehensible. In the midst of this complete ignorance of their faculties and inner nature, is it wise for us to judge so boldly of their powers by a comparison with our own? How can we pretend to fathom the profound mystery of their mental nature, and decide what, and how much, they can perceive or remember, reason or reflect! To leap at one bound from our own consciousness to that of an insect's, is as unreasonable and absurd as if, with a pretty good knowledge ...
— Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection - A Series of Essays • Alfred Russel Wallace

... English of all which is, that Josephine Harris had determined to fathom the whole of the mystery lying between Richard Crawford and his cousin, no matter what deceptions she might be called upon to pursue in carrying out her plan, or what amount of time and trouble might be necessary for that purpose. She might ...
— Shoulder-Straps - A Novel of New York and the Army, 1862 • Henry Morford

... long unshaved; but what most distressed and even daunted me, he would neither take his eyes away from me nor look me fairly in the face. What he was, whether by trade or birth, was more than I could fathom; but he seemed most like an old, unprofitable serving-man, who should have been left in charge of that big house ...
— Kidnapped • Robert Louis Stevenson

... HORIZON! As far as the eye could reach out the sea continued and upon its bosom floated tiny islands, those in the distance reduced to mere specks; but ever beyond them was the sea, until the impression became quite real that one was LOOKING UP at the most distant point that the eyes could fathom—the distance was lost in the distance. That was all—there was no clear-cut horizontal line marking the dip of the globe below the line ...
— At the Earth's Core • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... Newhaven by the Massachusetts Commissioners by a Complaints made by Awsuntawney the Indian Sagamore near Milford and two other western Indians against the said Montackett Sachem for hiering a witch to kill Uncas with the said Milford Sachem and his son giveing eight fathom of wampam in hand promising a hundred or a hundred and twenty more when the said murthers were committed; Notice whereof being given to the said Montackett Sachem and hee Required to attend the Commissioners att this meeting att Plymouth The said ...
— John Eliot's First Indian Teacher and Interpreter Cockenoe-de-Long Island and The Story of His Career from the Early Records • William Wallace Tooker

... wind round and round numberless rugged heights, with perpendicular precipices, now on one side, now on the other, and gulfs below so profound that often our eyes, when we unwisely made the attempt, could scarcely fathom them. Still almost interminable ranges of mountains appeared to the east. As we looked back, we could see the lofty heights of Pichincha, Corazon, Ruminagui, Cotopaxi, Antisana, ...
— On the Banks of the Amazon • W.H.G. Kingston

... puzzling. He had very little to say to Tom, and when he did speak, spoke in a constrained manner quite unlike him. And more than once Tom had caught Steve observing him with an expression that he couldn't fathom. There was something up, that was certain, but what it was Tom couldn't imagine. It wasn't that Steve was cross or disagreeable. For that matter, his disposition seemed a good deal improved. But ...
— Left End Edwards • Ralph Henry Barbour

... thinking they would now be obliged to work to get on down-stream, but presently, to their surprise, the current doubled its rate and they were going along at six miles an hour. None of them had ever had any experience with tides, and they therefore failed to fathom the real cause of these singular changes of speed. Suddenly, as they were descending, people of the same tribe they had fired on stood on the shore and shouted, making signs for them to land, that their boats would be capsized, but, thinking it a scheme ...
— The Romance of the Colorado River • Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

... discovered; but only that there is such a causality is postulated by the moral law and in its behoof. It is the same with the remaining ideas, the possibility of which no human intelligence will ever fathom, but the truth of which, on the other hand, no sophistry will ever wrest from the conviction ...
— The Critique of Practical Reason • Immanuel Kant

... could she have got that name? Well, I make no doubt, Ursula, that you are quite as good as she, and she as her namesake of ancient Rome; but there is a mystery in this same virtue, Ursula, which I cannot fathom; how a thief and a liar should be able, or indeed willing, to preserve her virtue is what I don't understand. You confess that you are very fond of gold. Now, how is it that you don't barter your virtue for ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... Actor. He was sitting in a deep arm-chair, so buried in his own thoughts that he was oblivious of our approach. On his knee before him lay a cabinet photograph of himself. His eyes seemed to be peering into it, as if seeking to fathom its unfathomable mystery. We had time to note that a beautiful carbon photogravure of himself stood on a table at his elbow, while a magnificent half-tone pastel of himself was suspended on a string from the ceiling. It was only when we had seated ourself in a chair and taken out our notebook ...
— Frenzied Fiction • Stephen Leacock

... nature and of mind. But religious faith is supreme trust in an unseen God and supreme obedience to his commands, without any other exercise of reason than the intuitive conviction that what he orders is right because he orders it, whether we can fathom his wisdom or not. "Canst thou by ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume II • John Lord

... gazed steadily at Snoqualmie. In that fierce and proud regard was something the Cayuse could not fathom. ...
— The Bridge of the Gods - A Romance of Indian Oregon. 19th Edition. • Frederic Homer Balch



Words linked to "Fathom" :   linear unit, volume unit, linear measure, cubic measure, excavation, cubature unit, cubage unit, pace, understand, cubic content unit, capacity measure, sound, yard, displacement unit, measure, capacity unit, mining, quantify



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