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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 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.]
 2. To measure by a sounding line; especially, to sound the depth of; to penetrate, measure, and comprehend; to get to the bottom of.
    The page of life that was spread out before me seemed dull and commonplace, only because I had not fathomed its deeper import.   --Hawthotne.