sound out

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sound out (third-person singular simple present sounds out, present participle sounding out, simple past and past participle sounded out)

  1. (transitive) To question and listen attentively in order to discover a person's opinion, intent, or preference, especially by using indirect conversational remarks.
    • 1918, Peter B. Kyne, The Valley of the Giants, ch. 24,
      You'll have to ask them—sound them out.
  2. (transitive) To pronounce a word or phrase by articulating each of its letters or syllables slowly in sequence.
  3. (intransitive) To speak or sing loudly, to call out.
    • c. 1855, Walt Whitman, "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," stanza 9,
      Sound out, voices of young men! loudly and musically call me by my nighest name!