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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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Examples from the Web for sounding-line
Historical Examples
  • For some days the sounding-line reached the bottom, and the soil which it brought up indicated land to be at no great distance.

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

    The Red Watch J. A. Currie
  • 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.

  • Art's sounding-line will never fathom human nature's emotional depths.

    Garden-Craft Old and New John D. Sedding
  • It consisted of nothing more than thin twine for a sounding-line, and a cannon ball for a sinker.

    The Ocean and its Wonders R.M. Ballantyne
  • When we were found to be short of sounding-line, a grand rope-walk was constructed on the ice.

    Farthest North Fridtjof Nansen
  • They were apparently in the same position as before, but his sounding-line showed that the water was slightly falling.

  • It was misty, and the coast was invisible, but the sounding-line continued to show a depth of from forty to fifty fathoms.

  • At the ninth sounding-station the red metal disc of the current-meter became entangled in the sounding-line.

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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