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1[mass noun] The action of measuring the depth of a body of water.
- ‘Challenger had been funded by the Royal Society of London to explore the depths of the world's oceans and in her voyages of 1873 and 1876 made more than 350 soundings, collecting samples and measurements from each.’
- ‘A team of Navy hydrographers would be sent in to conduct detailed soundings and tidal observations of both the Koksoak River and Frobisher Bay.’
- ‘The tedium of dredging and sounding very likely accounted for the high attrition of ship's personnel by desertion.’
- ‘But physical sounding with a line never had much of a chance as a means of mapping the silent landscape - better eyes were needed.’
- 1.1A measurement taken by sounding.
- ‘Operating from small rubber boats at night, the men took soundings of the water depth all along the planned invasion beaches.’
- ‘With its deepest sounding at nearly 1,200 feet, it is the fifth deepest lake in North America.’
- 1.2The determination of any physical property at a depth in the sea or at a height in the atmosphere.
- ‘In this phase, using higher frequency radio waves, the instrument will continue shallow probing of the subsurface and start atmospheric sounding.’
- 1.3archaic The area of sea close to the shore which is shallow enough for the bottom to be reached by means of a sounding line.
2Information or evidence ascertained as a preliminary step before taking action.‘he took soundings about the possibility of moving offices’
- ‘At the same time as the foundation trust consultation, the trust is taking soundings on whether or not it should change its name.’
- ‘He has no doubt spent the time delving into the condition of the markets, taking soundings from business executives and consulting with his counterparts from around the world.’
- ‘Even the Chinese government has been taking soundings on the idea of a flat tax, with leading academics calling for a reduction in the rate of tax from 45% to 20% or less.’
- ‘The Boundary Commission for England has been criss-crossing the towns and villages in the region, taking soundings before publishing draft recommendations in December.’
- ‘For a minister taking soundings, home is a good place to start.’
- ‘Moreover, the Government took soundings with the Parliament and the people of New Zealand.’
- ‘Initial soundings among potential investors have gone so well that the company expects to list towards the upper end of the price range of between 140p to 180p a share.’
- ‘He has already said he is taking soundings from colleagues on whether or not to stand.’
- ‘Informed soundings we've taken suggest that the initial outcry may have won only a temporary reprieve.’
- ‘He made up his mind to run in May but took soundings before committing himself.’
- ‘The 44-year-old leader has reportedly been taking soundings from party grandees over his strategy for the election and the referendum on the European constitution, which is likely to follow soon afterwards.’
- ‘It's taking soundings from interested parties, with hearings starting on May 23.’
- ‘However it is understood they plan to put that right and have been taking soundings in various parts of the county over the past number of weeks with a view to running candidates.’
- ‘But although I took soundings from friends and peers, in the end I just followed my gut feeling and did what I thought felt right.’
- ‘The council was also advised of the negative response to informal government soundings.’
- ‘Recent soundings have suggested that clubs are evenly divided on the issue.’
- ‘We took soundings, and commissioned independent economic research, and it suggested a very moderate and incremental approach to this protection measure.’
- ‘The trust, which has been taking soundings on possible cost cuts since January, finally brought an end to speculation on Monday when it unveiled its ‘key ideas’ to the media.’
- ‘I've taken soundings amongst the players, and while they acknowledge that the environment has changed, it's generally been a change they have welcomed.’
- ‘I will have to pull together a management team of sorts and I have already taken some soundings.’
1Giving forth sound, especially loud or resonant sound.‘he went in with a sounding plunge’
- 1.1Having an imposing sound but little substance.‘the orator has been apt to deal in sounding commonplaces’
- 1.1Having an imposing sound but little substance.
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