One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An instrument probe that automatically transmits information about its surroundings underground, under water, in the atmosphere, etc.
- ‘Moreover, few of the sondes are in the inner tropics, spatial coverage is spotty, and there are questions of instrumental and diurnal sampling errors that may have complicated detection of the trend in the past decade.’
- ‘As it descends, the sonde reports the sea-level pressure and other data relating to the intensity of the storm.’
- ‘Many other radiosonde designs exist; larger countries historically designed and built their own sondes, but some countries have abandoned their national sondes and started buying from Vaisala.’
- ‘Doctors place a sonde on the chest of the patient, and the computer will collect information about the heart from all sections.’
- ‘These so-called ‘electric’ logs, which are acquired via an instrument called a sonde, measure various physical properties of the subsurface rocks and formations.’
Early 20th century: from French, literally ‘sounding (line)’.
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