\ 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 And not just the final step, but all the way back into the supply chain, starting with sand. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "10 Ways Tim Cook Says Apple Is Leading the Charge on Sustainability," 4 Nov. 2019 The film's cinematography — handled by Yorick Le Saux — is striking, particularly a scene on a beach with sand fluttering in the air. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Greta Gerwig Unveils 'Little Women': "Jo March Was My North Star"," 24 Oct. 2019 In the Sahara, Pfeffer and her team first located several of the ants’ subterranean nests, then set up small, aluminum channels—with floors lightly covered with sand—on the front steps of the nests. Jake Buehler, National Geographic, "World’s fastest ants found racing across the Sahara," 16 Oct. 2019 The council will consider several concepts Tuesday, including the possibility of replacing turf with sand or drought-tolerant landscaping — a move that also could entail changes to the park’s irrigation infrastructure. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Updates are coming to Laguna’s Main Beach Park, but the council still has to decide the specifics," 11 Oct. 2019 However, high water levels and strong waves during El Nino ocean conditions in 2016 plugged up the mouth of the Tijuana River with sand. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Captive bred Ridgway’s rails released in Tijuana Slough wetlands following fallout from sewage pollution," 1 Oct. 2019 Plus, filling holes with sand to save turtles is easy, kind, and fun. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Hilton Head Island's Latest Efforts to Protect Sea Turtles and Beachgoers," 9 Sep. 2019 But the country club's consultant, John Garvey with Partners Environmental in Solon, said that in addition to removing the wellhead on the north side of Doan Brook, plans call for flushing the pipeline, then filling it with sand. Thomas Jewell,, "Shaker council delays decision on country club rezoning for 2 new homes, dump remediation," 27 Aug. 2019 The Broncos now play on Kentucky Bluegrass that is grown on a thin sheet of plastic topped with sand at the Green Valley Turf sod farm in Platteville. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Field Flip: How in 9 days Broncos Stadium changed from The Rolling Stones to the NFL," 19 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb According to Bookman, the wall area at the school for sixth-graders was sanded to remove the symbols. Peter Marteka,, "Swastikas found at Glastonbury elementary school," 7 Nov. 2019 Decorate half of the ginger cookies with royal icing, sanding sugar, and dragees, as desired. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies," 31 Oct. 2019 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

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

14 Nov 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

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to speed up the process or progress of

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