How Many Feet Are in a Fathom?

There are 6 feet in a fathom. A fathom is a nautical unit of distance for ocean depth, which is measured as soundings.

"Fathom" is derived from an Old English word meaning "length of an extended arm," which is roughly equivalent to 6 feet. It is closely related to the Old Saxon "fathmos," meaning "outstretched arms," and the Dutch "vadem," meaning "6 feet in length."

Prior to being established as a naval unit of measurement, fathom was proclaimed by the British Parliament as the extent of a man's embrace around his beloved. In modern times, aside from fathoms, other units of measurement for water depths include meters and feet.