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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sounding line

Historical Examples of sounding line

  • The Captain had his sounding-line going, and I was on the upper deck with the signallers.

    The Red Watch

    J. A. Currie

  • Now the sounding-line touched the bottom at 95 feet, and next time at 34 feet.

  • The halt is a matter depending on the sounding-line, and not on the leadsman.

    Les Misrables

    Victor Hugo

  • Wilson grasped the sounding-line, which lay coiled in its pail, and rushed into the port-shrouds.

  • It consisted of nothing more than thin twine for a sounding-line, and a cannon ball for a sinker.

British Dictionary definitions for sounding line

sounding line


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
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