\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for sand

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The funeral stands out like a glint of metal in the sand, unexpected treasure. Katy Kelleher, Vogue, "How Do You Create Memories When Every Day Is the Same?," 23 Dec. 2020 In an interview on the same day that Dolly was announced, Dr. Wilmut drew a line in the sand. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "How to Clone Your Dog," 21 Dec. 2020 Months after the first discovery, Guaca’s residents still occasionally find small golden objects in the sand. New York Times, "Treasure Washes Up on Venezuela’s Shore, Bringing Gold and Hope to a Village," 12 Dec. 2020 Sometimes the fires leave hot coals smoldering in the sand, which is a public safety hazard and a potential insurance liability, commissioners said. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Carlsbad beach commission seeks larger role in protecting coastline," 6 Dec. 2020 Remember, the countering arguments will be made by a group of Republicans who spent the last four years sticking their heads in the sand whenever they were confronted with Trump’s innumerable scandals. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "How to Cover a Normal Cabinet," 1 Dec. 2020 Instead, the novel cuts to an image of her sprawled in the sand. David L. Ulin, Harper's Magazine, "The Art of the Aftermath," 24 Nov. 2020 Competitors welcomed the northern direction and there were no complaints running the shorter distance in the sand. Emmett Hall,, "Ryan Owens Beach Run honors heroic legacy of Navy SEAL," 18 Nov. 2020 These may have been made in the sand by a human using a finger or a stick. Charles Helm, Quartz Africa, "Scientists have found new fossil tracks belonging to human ancestors in South Africa," 8 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For best results, complete a few thin coats and sand away excess compound to blend it into the wall before priming and painting. New York Times, "Do It Yourself Home Repairs," 5 Dec. 2020 Help kids strip or sand off any plastic coating covering the ends of the wire. Jamie Kiffel-alcheh, National Geographic, "Science experiments that will feed your kids’ brains," 23 Nov. 2020 It’s a propaganda push designed to help sand away any lingering public anger over the government’s costly missteps in the early weeks of the pandemic. Vivian Wang, New York Times, "As China’s Propaganda Push Continues, Wuhan Emerges as a Star," 6 Nov. 2020 Visit the Badwater Basin to see the salt flats or hike the Mesquite Flats sand dunes. Melissa Yeager, The Arizona Republic, "Need to unplug after the election? 6 road-trip ideas for Arizonans who could use a getaway," 4 Nov. 2020 When the coating is dry, lightly sand these parts with 220-grit abrasive paper. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Build This Rolling Cabinet for Extra Functional Storage," 26 Sep. 2020 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sand

Time Traveler for sand

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sand

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!