sound·​ing | \ ˈsau̇n-diŋ How to pronounce sounding (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sounding


soundingly adverb

Examples of sounding in a Sentence

Noun The sailors were taking soundings as the ship approached the coast.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The very subject of the movie is a failure to listen—and the price that the uneducated person pays by being vulnerable to flashy-sounding but flimsy ideologies. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Martin Eden,” Reviewed: A Slick and Hollow Adaptation of Jack London’s Novel," 21 Oct. 2020 Frosty, lime Wit with tangerine, Market Garden Brewery: Love the refreshing-sounding name for a beer. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Missing breweries, tastings and flights of Ohio’s best craft beer? Check out our 'Friday Night Sips’ online beer-review videos," 19 May 2020 Sometimes they are asked to name the opera from which a familiar-sounding melody of an aria has been taken. James Barron,, "M. Owen Lee (Father Lee to his Met Opera radio fans) dies at 89," 27 July 2019 In the meantime, this somewhat corny sounding story will be allowed to continue. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, all five Herberts shared Justin’s selection together at the family’s home in Eugene. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Justin Herbert’s journey from Oregon to NFL has SoCal roots," 24 Apr. 2020 Most of the websites, registered anonymously and named with variations of official-sounding words mashed together like FDACORONAVIRUSTESTKIT.COM were likely purchased with the intention of selling them for a profit. NBC News, "Companies are rushing to introduce coronavirus testing kits — and so are scam artists," 19 Mar. 2020 The Valkyrie is similar in idea to an Air Force program with a vaguely foreboding-sounding name: Skyborg, which is a type of fusion between autonomous systems, AI, and uncrewed aircraft. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "The Navy and Air Force have been experimenting with uncrewed fighter jets," 18 Mar. 2020 Despite their scary sounding name, the 2-feet-long walking sharks don't pose a threat to humans, Dudgeon said. Fox News, "Walking sharks found near Australia," 23 Jan. 2020 But at the end of the day, regulatory decisions aren’t made on nice-sounding words from a likable CEO. Washington Post, "Sorry Traders, T-Mobile’s Sprint Deal Is Anybody’s Guess," 13 Feb. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Schoenberg, so often cluttered and frantic-sounding in performance, has flow and dance. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Two Thriving String Quartets," 10 Nov. 2020 What's not beautiful, strong or smart is mocking ppl for their 'foreign sounding' names. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Celebs Join the #MyNameIs Movement on Twitter After GOP Senator Mocks Kamala Harris Pronunciation," 18 Oct. 2020 The sounding of the shofar, a ram's horn, is the central observance of the holiday. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Jewish community sees Rosh Hashana, which starts Friday, as new start after difficult year," 18 Sep. 2020 The sounding of the shofar will occur during the celebration. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The new Chabad of Waukesha-Brookfield facility is hosting Rosh Hashanah service to mark the Jewish new year," 17 Sep. 2020 The squad cars, lights flashing and sirens sounding, were joined by several rescue vehicles and more than 30 vehicles of friends, neighbors and strangers. Michael Errigo, Washington Post, "A 90-year-old Chevy Chase man spent months making masks. In return he got a birthday parade.," 3 Aug. 2020 Bake until hollow sounding and an internal thermometer reads 200°F, 10 to 15 minutes. Sarah Copeland, Country Living, "Cinnamon Swirl Bread," 12 May 2020 Provide guidance and serve as a sounding board for many ideas that are proposed around scheduling, events, logistics, equipment, testing and other issues. Madeline Mitchell,, "Miami University will return to campus for fall, plans to finish classes by Thanksgiving," 5 June 2020 Since people won’t be able to visit the cemetery, staff will broadcast the ceremony over the Anchorage VA Facebook page, including a sounding of taps, rifle salute, wreath laying and speeches, Walker said. Victoria Barber, Anchorage Daily News, "2 of Alaska’s biggest Memorial Day events have been canceled, but others will go on," 21 May 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of sounding


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sounding

Time Traveler for sounding

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sounding

Last Updated

1 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sounding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!