to sound out someone

Idiom Definition

"to sound out someone"

to find out someone's opinion or intentions about something

Idiom Definition - to sound out


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to sound out

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: How are you doing with that new product development?

Colleague 2: We're almost ready to test the prototype.

Colleague 1: Do you think the marketing people will agree to market it?

Colleague 2: I sounded out the chief of marketing last month and she said that marketing will be OK with it if we develop the new product according to the specs.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to sound out

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: I would really like to get a new apartment.

Friend 2: What does your boyfriend think?

Friend 1: I haven't sounded him out yet.

Friend 2: Well, I suppose that you had better see what he thinks, then, before you go dreaming about a new apartment any more.

to sound out someone - Usage:


to sound out someone - Gerund Form:

Sounding someone out gives you a good idea of their intentions.

to sound out someone - Examples:

1)  It's a good idea to have a substitute in mind and to sound them out as to whether they're willing to take you.

2)  The more you discuss and sound them out the more you will start to define the future.

3)  Party sources revealed that Mr Reid has contacted a number of senior Ministers to sound them out in the event that he should throw his hat in the ring.

4)   If anyone of interest comes my way I'll sound them out.

5)  Perhaps Shearer wanted to sound them out primarily on ICT issues.

6)  Evaluations can be challenging, and this is the chance to sound them out.

7)  I thought I would sound him out when we were on Scotland duty together.

8)  He calls Jim Hacker in the YM episode The Devil You Know to sound him out about being the next EEC Commissioner for Britain.

9)  WHEN Kildare contacted Mick O'Dwyer in August 1990 to sound him out for the manager's job, he thought it was a joke.

10)  If so, that can't be an excuse. Sound him out, if he wants a divorce and hear what he will say.

11)  She was asked to sound him out about going by other CIA officials.

12)  You may also want to sound her out about your hospital's attitude to water births.

13)  So I seized the chance to sound her out on whether women had really and truly changed Iceland.

14)  The Footscray board authorised President Nick Columb to sound out the possibility of a merger with four other struggling clubs.

15)  So they decided to sound out the local parish priest.

16)  But when they do at the weekend, they will then sound out the two Manchester clubs that want their star player Eden Hazard.

17)  Mossad was secretly dispatched to sound out the Americans.

18)  But personally I'd sound out the acquaintance about whether she had a vast supply of air miles.

19)  He confirmed that the CIA had asked him to sound out the Mafia, strictly off the record, about a contract to hit Fidel.

20)  It was agreed that the next step would be a public consultation document to sound out the opinion of prospective operators and industry.