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sounding definition


This page has 9 definitions of sounding in English. Sounding is a noun, an adjective and verb. Examples of how to use sounding in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



Etymology 1

sound (produce a sound) +‎ -ing.


sounding (plural soundings)

  1. The action of the verb to sound.
    • c. 1650, John Lightfoot, The Temple-Service
      And thus did the trumpets sound one-and-twenty blasts every day; [] three soundings at the three pausings of the music, []
    • 1979 August, Graham Burtenshaw and Michael S. Welch, “O.V.S. Bulleid's SR loco-hauled coaches - 1”, in Railway World, page 394:
      In the course of his soundings, Sir Herbert Walker had heard favourable reports of O.V.S. Bulleid, currently Principal Assistant to Gresley on the LNER.


sounding (not comparable)

  1. Emitting a sound.
    The sounding bell woke me up.
  2. Sonorous.



  1. present participle of sound
    Little Mary was sounding very sleepy, so I tucked her in bed.
    "Assist"'s sense ‘to be present (at a ceremony, entertainment, etc.)’, now uncommon and sounding affected, is a Gallicism.

Etymology 2

From sound (examine with the instrument called a sound, or by auscultation or percussion) +‎ -ing.


sounding (plural soundings)

  1. Test made with a probe or sonde.
    • 2011, John P. Rafferty, Oceans and Oceanography (page 189)
      Soundings showed wide variations in depths of water, and from the dredgings of the bottom came new types of sediment []
    • 2020 June 25, National Weather Service Boston 9:52 AM forecast discussion:
      Morning sounding at Chatham showed dry adiabatic lapse rate all the way to 700 mb this morning []
  2. A measured depth of water.
    The sailor took a sounding every five minutes
  3. The act of inserting of a thin metal rod into the urethra of the penis for medical or sexual purposes
  4. (chiefly in the plural) Any place or part of the ocean, or other water, where a sounding line will reach the bottom.
    • Spanish Ladies, naval song, chorus
      We'll rant and we'll roar across the salt seas; Until we strike soundings in the Channel of old England
  5. The sand, shells, etc. brought up by the sounding lead when it has touched bottom.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for sounding in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913)