\ˈsand \

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, ˈsäⁿ(n)d, ˈsäⁿ\

Definition of Sand (Entry 3 of 3)

George 1804–1876 pseudonym of Amandine-Aurore-Lucie (or -Lucile) Dudevant \dᵫd-ˈväⁿ, dᵫ-də-\ née Dupin French writer

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Synonyms for sand

Synonyms: Noun

beach, beachfront, strand

Synonyms: Verb

buff, file, grind, hone, rasp, rub

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Examples of sand in a Sentence


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.


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

Within seconds of setting foot on the sand, the heat pierces even the thickest shoes. Fox News, "Algeria abandons 13,000 migrants in the Sahara," 25 June 2018 Within seconds of setting foot on the sand, the heat pierces even the thickest shoes. Lori Hinnant, The Seattle Times, "Algeria abandons thousands of migrants in Sahara," 25 June 2018 But then Petronzio ran into serious trouble in the South’s deep bunkers, suffering double bogeys from the sand at 11 and 13. Tod Leonard,, "Aussie grinds out Junior World win; Taiwan girl cruises," 13 July 2018 On Monday, the first great white shark of the season was tagged a quarter-mile from the sands of Truro by state marine biologist Greg Skomal and his research partners from the AWSC. Steve Annear,, "Drone video shows shark eating seal off Cape Cod beach," 13 July 2018 But until the billionaires and the feds take it from you, feeling the sand between your toes remains your constitutional right., "5 hidden beaches around Half Moon Bay," 12 July 2018 Bone up on the shifting sands in global commerce with these key metrics, as chosen by raw-material dealers and strategists. Fortune, "Charting the Trade-War Fallout Through Commodities," 12 July 2018 The sand actually was purchased with another investor’s money. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "FourWinds bookkeeper who testified against Uresti sentenced to year in prison camp," 11 July 2018 As winds eventually dispersed the sand on top, the negative space where the dune once stood was preserved as a pit on the martian surface. Frankie Schembri, Science | AAAS, "‘Ghost dunes’ spotted on Mars," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The job now is sanding the spot smooth, but do it slowly. Ben Wojdyla, Popular Mechanics, "How to Fix Your Car's Dents and Dings," 21 Feb. 2018 Sprinkle sliced almonds, then sanding sugar, on top. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Table for 1: For solo diners, cooking at home offers many perks," 12 July 2018 Decades ago, researchers had suspected that the clams used acid, as well as perhaps sanding down the stone using their rough shells. Veronique Greenwood, New York Times, "This Burrowing Clam Is Not Boring. It Uses Acid to Make Its Home.," 14 June 2018 On Sunday, each turtle’s shell was dried, lightly sanded, and outfitted with satellite tags that aquarium biologists can use to track everything from how deep the turtles are diving to the temperature of the water around them. Emily Williams,, "Five loggerhead sea turtles return to ocean after 6 months at aquarium hospital," 3 July 2018 The games have also sanded some hard edges off Russia’s reputation as a troublemaker, even as nothing has changed in Ukraine or Syria. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "Russia Relaxes, for a Moment, to Let Soccer Fans Rejoice," 2 July 2018 Wood decks should be scrubbed and sanded when needed, and stained or painted regularly. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build a Deck," 8 Feb. 2018 First ladies can help sand the corners off controversies, speaking in politically benign terms and appearing on friendly media programs, such as daytime talk shows. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "5 things to know as Melania Trump visits child shelters in Arizona," 28 June 2018 This kit can help with cutting and sanding projects around the house and whatever summer projects come up. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "These are the 5 best Amazon deals right now," 1 June 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near sand


Sanctus bell

Sancy, Puy de





Phrases Related to sand

sand dune

shifting sands

the sands of time

Statistics for sand

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sand

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

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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

sands : 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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of sand 

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

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Comments on sand

What made you want to look up sand? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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