\ 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 Sand (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 On the 7th hole, the surly pseudoscientist hit a mediocre greenside bunker shot and angrily threw his club — manufactured by Cobra and available from all good stockists — into the sand. Eamon Lynch, Detroit Free Press, "Opinion: Bryson DeChambeau berating a PGA Tour cameraman in Detroit reveals his true brand," 5 July 2020 Some the nuts were chopped, a few were turned into a sand-like texture, and several stayed whole. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "The best blenders of 2020," 3 July 2020 Sir Isaac Newton said that when sand goes backward, your truck goes forward. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "How to Drive on the Beach," 3 July 2020 Publicly, this head-in-the-sand attitude makes a certain amount of uncomfortable sense, at least in the short term as companies review their Hong Kong strategies. Mike Bird And Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Hong Kong Security Law Means It’s No Longer Business as Usual," 2 July 2020 The area is home to the Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina, with a white sand beach, four pools, spa, golf course, and five restaurants including oceanfront Mina’s Fish House. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, "Best Places to Travel in August," 2 July 2020 This convertible piece from Mac Sports is both a comfy beach chair and a roomy, easy-to-maneuver cart with big sand-friendly wheels. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Southern Living, "This Beach Chair Converts Into a Wagon and Cart," 1 July 2020 The current order closed beaches from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for all activities except walking across the sand to enter the water, though people could still use the ocean for recreational purposes during that time. Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times, "Santa Cruz County lifts beach closures: ‘People are not willing to be governed’," 25 June 2020 Black sand comes from ground-up lava, for instance. Washington Post, "That sand between your toes may start as rock. But it may also be fish poop.," 24 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many series may have tried to sand down these exasperating edges, particularly since Vida is led by Latinx women. Ariana Romero,, "Vida May Be Over, But Creator Tanya Saracho Knows How Her Show Lives On," 31 May 2020 The shaggily authentic performer from back-alley nowhere, the shady impresario sanding hard edges into gold. Darren Franich,, "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes review: Hunger Games prequel's darkly funny, way too long," 19 May 2020 The Oregon Department of Transportation closed the eastbound lanes at Troutdale for several hours while plowing and sanding the freeway, and then reopened about 6 a.m. Thursday. oregonlive, "Portland metro Thursday traffic: Spinouts, crashes close U.S. 26 east near Government Camp," 16 Jan. 2020 Alternatively, batter a coarse piece of granite or basalt into rough shape by pounding it with other stones and then grind and sand it against smooth stones to produce an edge. Keith Mccafferty, Field & Stream, "How to Make Primitive Survival Weapons in the Bush," 24 Apr. 2020 Carpets, floors and walls are being replaced and repainted, outdoor decks are getting power washed, and wood surfaces are getting sanded down and freshly stained on tight budgets. Chuck Blount,, "A tiny coronavirus silver lining: San Antonio bar owners are using downtime for renovations and updates," 17 Apr. 2020 Gun vise Electric drill Barrel inletting tool or sanding dowel Dremel Bungee cords The 1950s called and wanted its scope mounts back. Matt Foster, Outdoor Life, "How to Make an Old Rifle More Accurate," 20 Apr. 2020 The air was dusty from sanding, and the walls smelled of paint. Los Angeles Times, "Broadway Place’s homeless residents were promised homes. Had the city forgotten them?," 15 Aug. 2019 Blend the edges into the wall, careful not to sand down to the patch. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Repair Drywall the Right Way," 17 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for sand

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sand

Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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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

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