sound·​ing | \ˈsau̇n-diŋ \

Definition of sounding 

(Entry 1 of 2)



Definition of sounding (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : measurement of depth especially with a sounding line

b : the depth so ascertained

c soundings plural : a place or part of a body of water where a hand sounding line will reach bottom

2 : measurement of atmospheric conditions at various heights

3 : a probe, test, or sampling of opinion or intention

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Other Words from sounding


soundingly adverb

Examples of sounding in a Sentence


The sailors were taking soundings as the ship approached the coast.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The fierce-sounding name was close to Ms. Kraus’s heart, as a University of Michigan graduate. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "Amazon Kept HQ2 Under Wraps Using These Code Names," 17 Nov. 2018 Editor's note: This story has been corrected to clarify how sounding rockets fly. Meghan Bartels,, "NASA Will Launch 2 Rockets to Test a Mars Parachute and Track 'Nanoflares'," 6 Sep. 2018 Samon, a sweet-sounding kid who speaks Thai, Burmese, Chinese, and English, is from Wa state, an area in northern Myanmar known for its drug trade. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "What's Next For The Rescued Thai Soccer Team?," 10 July 2018 This teaser video opens like the latest Ken Block Gymkhana, replete with ignition and speedo shots, as well as that mean sounding exhaust. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "This Mean Mower Might Top 150 Mph," 6 July 2018 Six months of piano lessons can heighten kindergartners' brain responses to different pitches, and improve their ability to tell apart two similar-sounding words. Christopher Intagliata, Scientific American, "Piano Lessons Tune Up Language Skills," 26 June 2018 Plus, that same year, David and Victoria Beckham gave their son a similar-sounding name, Cruz. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Chip and Joanna Gaines Tapped Into Two Trends When Naming Baby Crew," 25 June 2018 That is what happens every time anyone who carries a seemingly Muslim-sounding name is accused of a negative act. H.a. Hellyer, Time, "The Mali 'Spider-Man' Was Offered French Citizenship. What About the Muslim Migrants Who Aren't Superheroes?," 30 May 2018 Afterward, the Trump Foundation omitted any mention of Bondi’s political group - called And Justice for All - from its annual report to the IRS, and instead said the $25,000 donation had gone to a nonprofit in Kansas with a similar-sounding name., "N.Y. attorney general alleges ‘persistently illegal’ conduct at Trump Foundation," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The same result can be obtained from an instrument that consists of a solid plank as a sounding board with something that holds the tube firmly in place above the plank. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Musical instrument goes flat in presence of adulterated medicine," 17 Sep. 2018 Tomorrow's second sounding-rocket launch will take off from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, and will also be the third flight of its technology, called the Focusing Optics X-Ray Solar Imager (FOXSI). Meghan Bartels,, "NASA Will Launch 2 Rockets to Test a Mars Parachute and Track 'Nanoflares'," 6 Sep. 2018 Some voices were higher and younger sounding; some were nasally, and some even sounded cute. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Talking to Google Duplex: Google’s human-like phone AI feels revolutionary," 27 June 2018 Mr Sharif’s absence from the campaign trail seems to have hurt the PML-N. The latest sounding by Gallup, a polling firm, suggests the PTI has closed a previously sizeable gap and is now level pegging with Mr Sharif’s party. The Economist, "Pakistan’s former prime minister embraces jail to rally his party," 12 July 2018 Trendy entries from popular brands range from the natural-sounding, like the hydrating My Real Squeeze Sheet Mask in Green Tea from Innisfree, to the exotic, like the Timeless Ferment Snail Hydrogel Mask from TonyMoly. Ilise Carter, WSJ, "Do Korean Sheet Masks Actually Improve Your Skin?," 13 June 2018 First of all, it's appropriately named - slightly scary sounding, unique, and fun to say. Dana Burke, Houston Chronicle, "Best and worst carnival rides at RodeoHouston," 9 Mar. 2018 Given all the uncertainty, the biggest question surrounding The Staircase might actually be: In more than 10 hours, why did the series not mention such an insane-sounding, but still plausible, theory? Jennifer M. Wood, WIRED, "Did the Owl Do It? Behind The Staircase's Wildest Theory," 13 June 2018 Uppal checks in with him regularly, acting as a sounding board and problem solver. Cynthia Hubert, sacbee, "This man cost Sacramento County more in one year than any other homeless person," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sounding.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sounding


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for sounding

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for sounding

The first known use of sounding was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for sounding



English Language Learners Definition of sounding

: a measurement of the depth of water

: something that is done to find out what people think about something

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More from Merriam-Webster on sounding

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sounding

Nglish: Translation of sounding for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sounding for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sounding

Comments on sounding

What made you want to look up sounding? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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