sound·ing1 / ˈsounding/ • n. the action or process of measuring the depth of the sea or other body of water. ∎ a measurement taken by sounding. ∎ the determination of any physical property at a depth in the sea or at a height in the atmosphere. ∎ (soundings) fig. information or evidence ascertained as a preliminary step before deciding on a course of action: he's been taking soundings about the possibility of moving his offices. ∎ (soundings) archaic the area of sea close to the shore that is shallow enough for the bottom to be reached by means of a sounding line.sound·ing2 • adj. archaic giving forth sound, esp. loud or resonant sound: he went in with a sounding plunge. ∎ having an imposing sound but little substance: the orator has been apt to deal in sounding commonplaces.