sound out

sound out
sound (someone) out to carefully discover what someone thinks or knows.

I thought it might be good to sound him out about having you come to work for us.

His policy was to sound out top business leaders before making any new economic proposals.

Usage notes: used to describe a way of asking about someone's opinions without upsetting or angering them
Etymology: based on the idea of sounding out a word you do not know by carefully pronouncing each part of it

New idioms dictionary. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • sound out — index inquire Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • sound out — verb 1. speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way She pronounces French words in a funny way I cannot say zip wire Can the child sound out this complicated word? • Syn: ↑pronounce, ↑articulate, ↑enounce, ↑enunciate, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • sound out — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms sound out : present tense I/you/we/they sound out he/she/it sounds out present participle sounding out past tense sounded out past participle sounded out to try to find out someone s opinions, ideas, feelings… …   English dictionary

  • sound out — verb a) To question and listen attentively in order to discover a persons opinion, intent, or preference, especially by using indirect conversational remarks. Youll have to ask them sound them out …   Wiktionary

  • sound out — PHRASAL VERB If you sound someone out, you question them in order to find out what their opinion is about something. [V P n (not pron)] He is sounding out Middle Eastern governments on ways to resolve the conflict... [V n P] Sound him out… …   English dictionary

  • sound out — {v.} To try to find out how a person feels about something usually by careful questions. * /Alfred sounded out his boss about a day off from his job./ * /When you see the coach, sound him out about my chances of getting on the basketball team./… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • sound out — {v.} To try to find out how a person feels about something usually by careful questions. * /Alfred sounded out his boss about a day off from his job./ * /When you see the coach, sound him out about my chances of getting on the basketball team./… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • sound\ out — v To try to find out how a person feels about something usually by careful questions. Alfred sounded out his boss about a day off from his job. When you see the coach, sound him out about my chances of getting on the basketball team. Syn.: feel… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • sound out — (Roget s IV) v. Syn. probe, feel out, sound, feel, put out a feeler*, send up a trial balloon*, run it up the flag pole*, see how the land lies*, get the lay of the land*, see which way the wind blows*; see also examine 1 , experiment 2 …   English dictionary for students

  • sound out — if you ll just sound them out, you might learn something useful Syn: investigate, test, check, examine, probe, research, look into; canvass, survey, poll, question, interview, sample; informal pump …   Thesaurus of popular words

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