\ 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 Seven secluded villas, each with its own private dock, open out onto turquoise waters, infinity pools, hammocks, and meticulously raked sand. Michelle Stansbury, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Cayo Espanto," 23 Feb. 2021 Sunshine Seaside Visit in the springtime to see the annual sand sculpture festival. M. J. Lewis, Wired, "The Most Romantic Date Spots in Super Mario 3D World," 23 Feb. 2021 Clean sidewalks with a high-pressure water and sand blaster. Malia Wollan, New York Times, "How to Remove Graffiti," 23 Feb. 2021 Nursery animals where guests can observe young animals from nearby cool temperate waters, like clumps of mussels, swell shark egg cases and juvenile sharks, sand crabs, and juvenile zebra perch. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Legoland, Birch Aquarium announce partial openings in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions," 23 Feb. 2021 There is a span of roughly 100 yards where sand has been placed for cars and trucks that gain too much speed. USA Today, "Tiger Woods injured in car wreck: Maps, updates, and location of crash site," 23 Feb. 2021 Beaches from the country’s north to south have been affected, and officials reported that the tar had covered the sand and contaminated rocks. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Israel Grapples With Massive Oil Spill, Forcing Beaches Shut," 23 Feb. 2021 Gritty sand provides traction on ice, but won’t melt it. Washington Post, "A clean water group wants us to give the cold shoulder to excessive road salt," 22 Feb. 2021 Police tracked him down and arrested him at a boat ramp near Kailua Beach, a two-and-a-half-mile stretch of golden sand that anchors a largely residential community. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, "Tourists Arrested After Trying to Bribe Their Way Into Hawaii Without COVID-19 Test Results," 19 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Additionally, be aware of road crews that are working to sand roads and give them room to do their jobs, Bradford said. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "Richardson police ask residents to stay off the road as second winter blast approaches," 16 Feb. 2021 Then, sand each side smooth with a disk sander or belt sander. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Don't Toss That X-Mas Tree: Let's Make Something Instead," 26 Dec. 2020 Wet sand the spot with 1000-grit sandpaper once the paint is completely dry. Paul Wright, Popular Mechanics, "How to Repair Car Paint Chips," 13 Nov. 2020 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

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

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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
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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Comments on sand

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