A fathom is a unit of length in the imperial and the U.S. customary systems equal to 6 feet (1.8288 metres), used especially for measuring the depth of water.
There are two yards (6 feet) in an imperial fathom. Originally based on the distance between a man's outstretched arms, the size of a fathom has varied slightly depending on whether it was defined as a thousandth of an (Admiralty) nautical mile or as a multiple of the imperial yard. Formerly, the term was used for any of several units of length varying around 5–5 1/2 feet (1.5–1.7 m).
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fathom", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.