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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
1300-50; Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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
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