One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘he sounded people out and found the responses favourable’
canvass, test the opinions of, survey, poll, question, interview, sample
test the water, see how the land lies
2‘officials arrived to sound out public opinion’
investigate, test, check, examine, probe, carry out an investigation of, conduct a survey of, research, research into, carry out research into, explore, look into, canvass, elicit
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