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

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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

Thanks to the emergence of the American private space industry, the United States Air Force can consider a wild-sounding possibility: rocket launches that blast cargo into space to land anywhere in the world within half an hour. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Is Actually Considering Rocket Launches to Move Cargo Around the Globe," 29 Oct. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The release of the all-electric (and similar-sounding) Chevy Bolt in 2016 took some of the wind out of the Volt’s sales, but the Volt still retained a dedicated fan base. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "GM is laying off thousands of workers, closing three plants, and ending production of the Chevy Volt," 26 Nov. 2018 Before actually contacting first responders, the Apple Watch will try to give numerous urgent alerts: tapping the wearer on the wrist, sounding of a very loud alarm, and also displaying a visual alert. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Apple Watch’s new auto-911 calls after falls may tumble into legal trouble," 25 Sep. 2018 The ceremony will include participants dressed in Civil War regulation uniforms, a rifle salute, the sounding of taps and an invocation by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Historical marker honoring Civil War veterans at Calvary Cemetery to be dedicated on Gettysburg anniversary," 29 June 2018 And once the devices are installed, the Federal Railroad Administration allows trains to stop the mandatory sounding of their horns at every at-grade crossing. Phil Diehl,, "Railroad 'quiet zone' on target for 2019 finish," 18 June 2018 In 150 years, the soundings of Britons' feelings for the monarchy have fluctuated like a seismograph chart. Patt Morrison,, "After centuries of practice, Britain's royals figure out how to turn a wedding into a global watch party," 17 May 2018 Every temperature profile, also known as a sounding, is sensitive to temperature and water vapor. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Polar Vortex Looks Absolutely Chilling From Space," 1 Feb. 2019 Mahogany, which is fairly dark and warm sounding helps round out the overall tones. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "Fender's 'Acoustasonic' Is a True Acoustic-Electric Hybrid Guitar," 22 Jan. 2019 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

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

3 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to boil down or concentrate

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