\ 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 Thirteen are vocalists; the rest are supernumeraries ready to mill around and kick sand. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 18 Sep. 2021 Concrete batch plants combine cement, air and materials such as sand and gravel in large drums. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 17 Sep. 2021 San Jose del Cabo, Mexico is known for the sand and sea, but also has the most amazing organic working farm and restaurant that runs weekly cooking classes followed by lunch. Kendra Thornton, Travel + Leisure, 16 Sep. 2021 VanWychen explained that cranberries need black peat soil, ample white sand on top of the peat for drainage and a good water source. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Sep. 2021 Siesta Key Beach has been ranked as one of the top beaches in the country with its powdery white sand and Gulf Coast sunsets. Patrick Connolly,, 13 Sep. 2021 At the same time, trucks will start hauling away the slurry, a mixture of water, dirt and sand, that swamped the backstage and grassy audience areas and even touched the floorboards of the stage itself. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Sep. 2021 In the spring, as Mike Koiyaquaptewa prepared to plant corn, gusty winds whipped across the land, sending dust and sand billowing. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, 12 Sep. 2021 Data on other aspects of the seafloor and ocean that interact with coral reefs is also collected in the atlas, including wave turbidity and the presence of sand or rocks. Ben Panko, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Carefully plane and sand the leaf’s circumference to shape. Thomas Klenck, Popular Mechanics, 14 Aug. 2021 Seeing how much clay, silt, and sand your soil is made up of will show you how much water and fertilizer your plants will need. Giovana Gelhoren, Country Living, 30 July 2021 Reed published McMillan’s first short story and discouraged her from pursuing an M.F.A., worrying that more formal instruction would sand down her voice’s distinctive edge. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 But Reddick Lockhart still has a client to please, and The Good Fight is smart about the corporate timidness that can sand the edges off of comedy or anything else remotely provocative. Scott Tobias, Vulture, 15 July 2021 Old wood is likely to have splinters and loose wood fibers that can interfere with the sealant’s penetration, so sand your deck just prior to applying the treatment. Clint Carter, Popular Mechanics, 22 July 2020 Whatever has made the filler turn gray probably isn’t something that makes a good base for paint, so sand that off using a medium-grit sanding sponge. Washington Post, 10 May 2021 But when a would-be icon fails to deliver, the impulse is to sand down her edges or to excuse them as a result of subjugation. Rebecca Panovka, The New Yorker, 2 June 2021 Once your shapes have baked and cooled completely, lightly sand the shapes with fine sandpaper to remove any imperfections or sharp edges. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 May 2021

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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Learn More About sand

Time Traveler for sand

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sand

Sancy, Puy de



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Statistics for sand

Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for sand



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
: 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
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on sand

Nglish: Translation of sand for Spanish Speakers

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


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