\ 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 In Gulf Shores – where the eyewall of Sally made landfall -- city officials are estimating over $27 million in damages to structures, with over $5.3 million in sand loss. John Sharp |, al, "‘Document everything’: Assessing the damage after Hurricane Sally," 26 Sep. 2020 The past few months should have forced even the staunchest climate-crisis deniers to yank their heads out of the warming sand. Washington Post, "Rewrite that list of debate topics, Chris Wallace. And put the climate crisis at No. 1.," 24 Sep. 2020 We were particularly impressed by how the stroller was able to intelligently adapt on surfaces ranging from sand to cobblestone in our tests. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "Good Housekeeping's 2020 Parenting Awards," 24 Sep. 2020 In springtime, when the rain gathers into pools in the Dasht-e Lut, a desert in Iran, the sand comes alive. Sabrina Imbler New York Times, Star Tribune, "In the world's hottest desert, shrimp endure," 24 Sep. 2020 Every part of their defense strategy — the calling of numerous witnesses, the thorough questioning, the extensive documentation of conditions in their client’s home countries — amounted to sand thrown into the gears of the court. Gabriel Thompson, Longreads, "Inside the Chaos of Immigration Court," 23 Sep. 2020 The whales were discovered Monday on a beach and two sand bars near the west coast town of Strahan. NBC News, "90 whales dead, Australian rescuers race to save hundreds more," 22 Sep. 2020 There is a magnificent sand castle that has taken years to build. Hala Alyan, The New Yorker, "Spoiler," 21 Sep. 2020 In Corpus Christi, officials ran out of sand bags at both of its distribution locations late Saturday. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Weary Gulf Coast residents prep for Tropical Storm Beta, and maybe a foot of rain," 20 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If that hasn’t completely removed the mothball odor, lightly sand the interior with a fine-grade sandpaper to release the fresh cedar scent. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Guard your Medicare number," 14 Sep. 2020 From now through Wednesday, September 23, shoppers can save up to 30% on select patio items at The Home Depot, ranging from umbrella sand large conversation sets to comfy chairs. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "Patio furniture is deeply discounted for these end-of-summer sales—shop the best deals," 9 Sep. 2020 Using 120 grit sandpaper, sand down the end of the bench to account for any inconsistencies in the studs. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Build a Bench for Any Season," 18 Aug. 2020 First, carefully sand the case parts with 120- and 150-grit sandpaper. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "How To Build This Expert-Level Dresser on Your Own," 8 Aug. 2020 If the decoupage has dried, wet a very fine grit sandpaper (400 will work) and lightly sand the uneven spots. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "Learn How To Decoupage and Up Your DIY Game," 31 July 2020 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

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

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 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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