sounding line

noun
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:
1300–50; Middle English

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World English Dictionary
sounding line
 
n
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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
The weight hanger is attached to the end of the sounding line by a connector.
Site depth was determined with a weighted sounding line.
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