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sandman

[sand-man]
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noun, plural sand·men.
  1. the man who, in fairy tales or folklore, puts sand in the eyes of children to make them sleepy.
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Origin of sandman

First recorded in 1860–65; sand + man1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sandman

Historical Examples

  • She was singing to her baby about the 'Sandman,' or den lille Ole, as we Danes say.

    Our Little Danish Cousin

    Luna May Innes

  • "It makes my blood run cold to hear him," whispered the Sandman.

    Auriol

    W. Harrison Ainsworth

  • "I don't half like it," replied the Sandman, his teeth chattering with apprehension.

    Auriol

    W. Harrison Ainsworth

  • "Vith all my 'art," replied the Sandman, searching the clothes of the victim.

    Auriol

    W. Harrison Ainsworth

  • "That's a view o' the case worthy of an Old Bailey lawyer," replied the Sandman.

    Auriol

    W. Harrison Ainsworth


British Dictionary definitions for sandman

sandman

noun plural -men
  1. (in folklore) a magical person supposed to put children to sleep by sprinkling sand in their eyes
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sandman

n.

bringer of sleep in nursery lore, 1861, from sand (n.) in reference to hard grains found in the eyelashes on waking; first attested in a translation from the Norwegian of Andersen (his Ole Lukoie "Ole Shut-eye," about a being who makes children sleepy, came out 1842), and perhaps partly from German Sandmann. More common in U.S.; dustman with the same sense is attested from 1821.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper