1 of 2


: 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
: soil containing 85 percent or more of sand and a maximum of 10 percent of clay
broadly : sandy soil
: a tract of sand : beach
: a sandbank or sandbar
: 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
: an oil-producing formation of sandstone or unconsolidated sand
: firm resolution
: a yellowish-gray color


2 of 2


sanded; sanding; sands

transitive verb

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
The Senate needs to advance expeditiously toward a final vote, while possibly entertaining amendments offered in good faith, before the lobbyists can throw sand in the gears in hopes that the start of the campaign season in earnest frustrates the legislative effort. The Editors, National Review, 8 Apr. 2024 Straddling Melbourne Beach and Vero Beach, Sebastian Inlet State Park is a haven for anyone who likes to fish, surf, or simply stroll the sand for miles. Terry Ward, Travel + Leisure, 7 Apr. 2024 Kardashian snapped photographs of Tatum watching the girls play in the ocean from the shore — with tiny footprints visible in the sand. Esme Mazzeo, Peoplemag, 7 Apr. 2024 Altamirano and her family started to wear shoes on the beach to avoid the needles and plastic jutting out of the sand. Natalie Eilbert, Journal Sentinel, 4 Apr. 2024 Full sun Soil Type: Well-draining, moist, clay, loam, sand Soil pH: Acid, alkaline, neutral (6.0-8.0) To add a splash of color to your winter garden, consider winter jasmine, a vining shrub that grows 3-4 feet high with a 7-foot spread. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 4 Apr. 2024 Eventually, Finger found a way to set down, and his men yanked the poles from the sand and threw them aside. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2024 Trucks carrying quartz sand for all this construction judder along the highways. Gaiutra Bahadur Keisha Scarville, New York Times, 30 Mar. 2024 But the dude was smiling, and his eyes twinkled like moonbeams hitting sand. Nadeen Currie, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024
Weinstein founded the agency alongside Bryan Besser sand Adam Levine in 2010. Katcy Stephan, Variety, 21 Feb. 2024 As can be expected when turning a novel into a child-friendly musical experience, the edges of the story are noticeably sanded down. Shania Russell,, 21 Mar. 2024 In order to reach the widest possible Netflix audience, that cultural context has been completely universalized and most of the biggest ideas, which remain too frequently as vestigial references, have been sanded down to purposeless traces of coolness instead of integral elements. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Mar. 2024 The construction was almost impossible to discern; the separation between precious and the mundane sanded away. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 29 Feb. 2024 According to the team, the point of using the latter barrels was not as a cask finish—on the contrary, these barrels were sanded, toasted, and charred to really remove any trace of the wine. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 29 Jan. 2024 The film sands off the original movie’s rough edges, leaving something akin to chicken noodle soup for the hopelessly romantic soul. Chris Snellgrove,, 6 Jan. 2024 One of the most common mistakes DIYers make is not sanding enough. Marni Jameson, The Mercury News, 25 Jan. 2024 Prep the dresser by sanding it with 220-grit sandpaper for optimal adhesion. Maryal Miller Carter, USA TODAY, 2 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sand.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sand

Cite this Entry

“Sand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


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


2 of 2 verb
: to sprinkle with sand
: to smooth by rubbing with sandpaper

Medical Definition


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

Biographical Definition


biographical name

ˈsand How to pronounce Sand (audio)
George 1804–1876 pseudonym of Amandine-Aurore-Lucie (or -Lucile) Dudevant dᵫd-ˈväⁿ How to pronounce Sand (audio)
née Dupin French writer

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