sand·​box ˈsan(d)-ˌbäks How to pronounce sandbox (audio)
: a box or receptacle containing loose sand
especially : a box that contains sand for children to play in
: a place, area, or environment that provides opportunities for variation and experimentation in a way suggestive of children playing in a sandbox
The Suttle Lodge is not a full-service hotel. Instead, it is better thought of as a sandbox: it provides all the amenities for you to create your own ideal experience.Lance Richardson
: such as
: a video game or part of a video game in which the player is not constrained to achieving specific goals and has a large degree of freedom to explore, interact with, or modify the game environment
… Untitled Goose Game is a sandbox in which objectives sometimes feel more like suggestions. I still want to get back in there and just mess with people more—see what happens when I get certain characters to chase me into certain areas, or if others will react to particular items.Nathan Grayson
often used before another noun
a sandbox gameVideo games played in sandbox mode, or purpose-built sandbox games, allow the player access to the whole world (the box) at once, and allow her to change that world at will (the sand). There is no preset narrative to force the player to run, hide, or shoot, and no marauders to destroy what she has built.Alexandra Lange
: an isolated environment on an electronic device (such as a computer) within which applications cannot affect other programs or data on the device
Software development often occurs inside a sandbox, defined as a confined virtual environment in which one or several developers can freely and safely experiment with untested code and new technologies.Janine Gianfredi
Businesses should add an application to their email systems that tags all emails containing a link or attachment. If an employee clicks on the link or attachment, the application launches it in a safe digital environment, called a sandbox, preventing any malicious application from infecting the employee's device or any others connected to it.Cameron G. Shilling
business : a controlled environment supervised by a regulatory authority within which existing regulations are relaxed or removed to allow businesses to more freely experiment with new products and services
The sandbox enables the development of telemedicine services with close monitoring of all aspects of safety, including clinical processes, medication delivery and data protection, while co-creating the appropriate regulations.Raymond Chua
Other efforts of Carolina Fintech Hub include finding ways to leverage the local supplies of venture capital and corporate capital to help good ideas grow. The organization is working with the North Carolina General Assembly members to bring forth a first-of-its-kind fintech sandbox, which would create a business-friendly environment for fintech startup activity.Charlotte Business Journal (North Carolina)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The second part allowed attackers to escape Apple’s sandbox, which keeps apps from accessing data stored by other apps and from accessing other parts of the device. WIRED, 21 Feb. 2023 As a child, you’re put in a sandbox and you’re given tools to tap into your imagination and create whatever elements come to you—shapes, patterns, structures. Celia Ellenberg, Vogue, 19 Apr. 2022 The child was playing in a sandbox around 5:30 p.m. on Cutter Hill Road when the coyote approached and bit him on the leg, , according to a statement from local police and health officials., 16 Aug. 2021 Of course if that is too much structure, users can always play in the ‘sandbox’. Carolyn Graybeal, Discover Magazine, 22 Feb. 2015 At the same time, Moscow introduced a regulatory sandbox for the development of AI applications with the participation of large IT companies, exempting authorities from the country’s already lax data protection requirements. WIRED, 6 Feb. 2023 The researchers then used a more advanced AI service called Codex to develop other types of malware, including a reverse shell and scripts for port scanning, sandbox detection, and compiling their Python code to a Windows executable. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 6 Jan. 2023 In other words, most of our gadgets will now play nicely together in the sandbox. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2023 And that information really gives us this huge sandbox to develop insights, hopefully unique insights. CBS News, 23 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sandbox.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1572, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sandbox was in 1572

Dictionary Entries Near sandbox

Cite this Entry

“Sandbox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


sand·​box -ˌbäks How to pronounce sandbox (audio)
: a box for holding sand especially for children to play in

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