lead line

noun Nautical.
  1. a line by which a lead is lowered into the water to take soundings: in deep-sea practice, divided into levels one fathom apart, variously treated as marks and deeps.

Origin of lead line

First recorded in 1475–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lead line

Historical Examples of lead line

  • Sez Counahan: 'Either the lead-line's tuk too stretchin' or else the Bank's sunk.'

    "Captains Courageous"

    Rudyard Kipling

  • The gulf has become a lake, but it is also an abyss, and no lead-line has yet sounded its depths.

  • Green had a lead-line on board; it was let fall over the side, but no bottom was found.

    The Three Commanders

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • The lead-line betokened fifty fathoms where the frigate had cast anchor.

    The Three Lieutenants

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • Gardiner sprang to the lead-line to see the effect on his own vessel.

    The Sea Lions

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for lead line

lead line

  1. nautical a length of line for swinging a lead, marked at various points to indicate multiples of fathoms
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

lead line in Medicine

lead line

  1. An irregular dark deposit in the gums occurring in lead poisoning.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.