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sounding lead

[leed]
noun
  1. See under sounding line.
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sounding line

noun
  1. 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.
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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

Historical Examples

  • 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

    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • In the outer harbour the pilots recognize the approach of banks by the sand which is brought up by the sounding-lead.

  • In many places it reaches a depth of 600 feet, and occasionally the sounding-lead plunges down for upwards of 700 feet.

  • 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.


British Dictionary definitions for sounding lead

sounding lead

noun
  1. 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
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sounding line

noun
  1. 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
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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