from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical, the lead used for sounding in rivers, harbors, or shoal water. It is much smaller than the deep-sea lead, being from 5 to 9 pounds in weight. See lead.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Two of the seamen were engaged in coiling down a hand-lead line; the rest of the men on deck were devoting their attention to the now departing canvas boat.

    The Submarine Hunters A Story of the Naval Patrol Work in the Great War

  • "Try the hand-lead," Dick ordered him, as he changed his course, since he was apparently heading for the beach.

    Brandon of the Engineers

  • It was Mr. Goodfellow who worked the hand-lead, under Captain

    Poison Island

  • Therefore, a massive chain like a small ship's cable was brought forward, and in a very ingenious way, by means of a tiny buoy and a hand-lead, passed round the body, one end brought through a ring in the other, and hauled upon until it fitted tight round the "small" or part of the whale next the broad spread of the tail.

    The Cruise of the Cachalot Round the World After Sperm Whales

  • They had had the precaution to provide themselves with a hand-lead; and as soon as the channel was reached a very complete set of soundings, from end to end and over its entire width, was taken under Ned's supervision.

    The Missing Merchantman

  • Here, with the assistance of the hand-lead, I found a minimum depth of two fathoms; but the bottom was very uneven, and in a few places I found as much as five fathoms of water.

    The Cruise of the "Esmeralda"

  • I meantime had got hold of the hand-lead, and hove it ahead.

    In the Wilds of Africa

  • It was the more necessary to moor the ship in some such situation, as we found from six to seven fathoms water by dropping the hand-lead down close to her bow and quarter on the outer side.

    Three Voyages for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and Narrative of an Attempt to Reach the North Pole, Volume 1

  • I stood up in the stern-sheets, and made constant casts with the hand-lead, with a short line, however, as the boat went foaming through the water.

    Afloat and Ashore A Sea Tale

  • One thing was, however, certain, which was, that we were in much shallower water than we had any idea of; and the master, much alarmed, desired the quarter-master to go into the chains and see if he could get soundings with the hand-lead while the men were hauling in the deep sea-line.

    Percival Keene


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