One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A weighted line with distances marked off at regular intervals, used to measure the depth of water under a boat.
- ‘Eventually the Scientifics were able to predict, with a fair degree of accuracy, the nature of the bottom sediment merely by observing the depth at which the sounding line stopped paying out.’
- ‘Two years later, on the other side of the world, their sounding lines revealed a chasm in the western Pacific more than five miles deep.’
- ‘They had to be content with their sounding lines of piano wire.’
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