\ ˈsand How to pronounce sand (audio) \

Definition of sand

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a loose granular material that results from the disintegration of rocks, consists of particles smaller than gravel but coarser than silt, and is used in mortar, glass, abrasives, and foundry molds
b : soil containing 85 percent or more of sand and a maximum of 10 percent of clay broadly : sandy soil
2a : a tract of sand : beach
b : a sandbank or sandbar
3 : the sand in an hourglass also : the moments of a lifetime usually used in plural the sands of this government run out very rapidly — H. J. Laski
4 : an oil-producing formation of sandstone or unconsolidated sand
5 : firm resolution
6 : a yellowish-gray color


sanded; sanding; sands

Definition of sand (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to sprinkle or dust with or as if with sand
2 : to cover or fill with sand
3 : to smooth or dress by grinding or rubbing with an abrasive (such as sandpaper)


biographical name
\ ˈsand How to pronounce Sand (audio) , ˈsäⁿ(n)d, ˈsäⁿ\

Definition of Sand (Entry 3 of 3)

George 1804–1876 pseudonym of Amandine-Aurore-Lucie (or -Lucile) Dudevant \ dᵫd-​ˈväⁿ How to pronounce dᵫd-ˈväⁿ (audio) , dᵫ-​də-​ \ née Dupin French writer

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Synonyms for sand

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of sand in a Sentence

Noun The beaches are covered with pinkish sand. I have sand in my shoe. The children are playing in the sand. She walked across the hot sand. Verb You should sand the shelf before painting it. Be sure to sand before you paint the shelf. The streets are slippery because they haven't been sanded yet.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So was the large expanse of sand that, for the four previous years of KAABOO, had provided a beach-like ambiance in front of the Sunset Cliffs Stage at the west end of the fairgrounds. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Analysis: KAABOO takes final Del Mar bow: Was the festival rushing too fast to its new home at Petco Park?," 17 Sep. 2019 Trump’s latest climate-denial maneuver is outrageous, but for years, school textbooks have taken a similar head-in-the-sand approach to climate change. Bill Bigelow, Teen Vogue, "Textbooks Are Lying To Students About Climate Change," 16 Sep. 2019 In its analysis, Ziegler included an image of an ostrich with its head in the sand. Glenn Nelson, The Seattle Times, "Battle for ‘soul’ of Seattle’s Japanese American community as Keiro Northwest nursing home closes," 16 Sep. 2019 Some candidates stumped on the beaches near Tel Aviv, their black loafers in the sand. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, "Netanyahu advises supporters that voting more important than sex," 16 Sep. 2019 After the flame was put out, the machine was reportedly covered in sand. Claudia Harmata,, "The Tennessee Titans Literally Lit Up the Field at Their Home Opener," 16 Sep. 2019 The club appear to have drawn a line in the sand after six years of tail spinning following the years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013., "David de Gea's Decision to Sign New Contract Highlights Faith in Man Utd's Long-Term Project," 16 Sep. 2019 The dish, a specialty of her Baja California town, Loreto, and particularly her hotel, the Oasis, involves burying the specific, large local clams in sand. Fortune, "Charred Chocolate Clams: The Secrets of Baja’s Signature Dish," 14 Sep. 2019 Earlier this week a couple found two Civil-War-era cannonballs unearthed by Dorian lying in the sand on Folly Beach in South Carolina. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Outer Banks Officials Warn of Items Buried in the Sand by Hurricane Dorian," 13 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Wade took some, mixed it with hardener, applied it to his car, sanded it down and applied primer paint. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Someone San Diego Should Know: Alberto Pulido," 29 July 2019 Options include decorating sugar, sanding sugar, icing sugar and turbinado sugar, all available in most baking aisles. Dallas News, "Fort Worth foodies and TCU football fans team up for 'Texas Tailgate Cookbook'," 20 Aug. 2019 Black cocoa bat cookies are dipped in sanding sugar, then sandwiched together with sweet buttercream. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Bat Sandwich Cookies," 5 Aug. 2019 Unwrap logs and roll in sanding sugar until evenly coated. Adina Steiman, WSJ, "This Holiday Season’s Smartest Cookie," 5 Dec. 2018 There are no right angles, no jagged edges, no painful abrasion — everything has been carefully sanded down. John Adamian,, "Best bets: Our 7 picks for this week’s concerts in Connecticut," 8 Sep. 2019 The wood flooring downstairs, some of it longleaf pine, was also in relatively good shape, although it has been sanded and refinished so many times through the years that the tongue and groove connection between several floorboards is visible. Richard A. Marini,, "110-year-old South Side San Antonio home getting a complete renovation," 19 Aug. 2019 For this old dresser Emily discovered, that meant sanding it down and repainting it a deep blue to give it a new life. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Emily Henderson Transformed This $60 Dresser From Craigslist Into an Unexpected Bar," 12 July 2019 The school says the swastika tiles will be sanded to remove the symbol and remounted. USA TODAY, "‘Molly of Denali,’ saloon discourse, ashes by mail: News from around our 50 states," 10 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sand


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sand


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German sant sand, Latin sabulum, Greek psammos

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Statistics for sand

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for sand

The first known use of sand was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sand


How to pronounce Sand (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the very tiny, loose pieces of rock that cover beaches, deserts, etc.
: an area of sand
literary : the beach or desert



English Language Learners Definition of sand (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make the surface of something smooth by rubbing it with sandpaper
US : to spread sand over (an icy street, sidewalk, etc.) : to cover (something) with sand


\ ˈsand How to pronounce sand (audio) \

Kids Definition of sand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : loose material in grains produced by the natural breaking up of rocks
2 : a soil made up mostly of sand


sanded; sanding

Kids Definition of sand (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to sprinkle with sand The snowy roads were plowed and sanded.
2 : to smooth or clean with sandpaper

Other Words from sand

sander noun


\ ˈsand How to pronounce sand (audio) \

Medical Definition of sand

: gritty particles in various body tissues or fluids — see brain sand

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More from Merriam-Webster on sand

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sand

Spanish Central: Translation of sand

Nglish: Translation of sand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sand for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sand

Comments on sand

What made you want to look up sand? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread as a report or rumor

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