- See under sounding line.
- a line weighted with a lead or plummet (sounding lead) and bearing marks to show the length paid out, used for sounding, as at sea.
Origin of sounding line
Middle English word dating back to 1300–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sounding lead
I have a question for thee alone, my brother: like a sounding-lead, cast I this question into thy soul, that I may know its depth.Thus Spake Zarathustra
In the outer harbour the pilots recognize the approach of banks by the sand which is brought up by the sounding-lead.The Argentine Republic
In many places it reaches a depth of 600 feet, and occasionally the sounding-lead plunges down for upwards of 700 feet.Fragments of Earth Lore
Nevertheless Monsieur de Biancourt was always on his guard, and often sent the boat on ahead with the sounding-lead.
Beyond this depth the sounding-lead rests, not upon the wall-like face of the reef, but on the ordinary shelving sea-bottom.Autobiography and Selected Essays
Thomas Henry Huxley
- a lead weight, usually conical and having a depression in the base for a dab of grease so that, when dropped to the bottom on a sounding line, a sample of sand, gravel, etc, can be retrieved
- a line marked off to indicate its length and having a sounding lead at one end. It is dropped over the side of a vessel to determine the depth of the water