Sound, v.t.

To try, as the depth of water and the quality of the ground, by sinking a plummet or lead, attached to a line on which are marked the number of fathoms. The lower end of the lead is covered with tallow, by means of which some portion of the earth, sand, gravel, shells, &c. of the bottom, adhere to it and are drawn up. By these means, and the depth of water and the nature of the bottom, which are carefully marked on good charts, seamen may known how far a ship is from land in the night or in thick weather, and in many cases when the land is too remote to be visible.