See more synonyms for sand on
  1. the more or less fine debris of rocks, consisting of small, loose grains, often of quartz.
  2. Usually sands. a tract or region composed principally of sand.
  3. the sand or a grain of sand in an hourglass.
  4. sands, moments of time or of one's life: At this stage of his career the sands are running out.
  5. a light reddish- or brownish-yellow color.
  6. Informal. courage; pluck.
  7. sleeper(def 10).
verb (used with object)
  1. to smooth or polish with sand, sandpaper, or some other abrasive: to sand the ends of a board.
  2. to sprinkle with or as if with sand: to sand an icy road.
  3. to fill up with sand, as a harbor.
  4. to add sand to: The mischievous child sanded the sugar.
  1. draw a line in the sand, to set a limit; allow to go up to a point but no further.

Origin of sand

before 900; Middle English (noun), Old English; cognate with German Sand, Old Norse sandr
Related formssand·a·ble, adjectivesand·less, adjectivesand·like, adjectiveun·sand·ed, adjectivewell-sand·ed, adjective
Can be confusedsand sediment silt Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sanding

Historical Examples of sanding

  • She was sanding the dishes and putting them away when he finally remembered the ring.

    Police Your Planet

    Lester del Rey

  • Hope left his message with Peg Macllrea, who was sanding the parlour.

    The Northern Iron

    George A. Birmingham

  • When they had finished, the table was complete, even to the sanding and a coat of varnish.


    William Gerken

  • When sanding is not practicable, the vines may be mown off when they become too luxuriant.

  • Traction on grades up to 12% is easily secured by sanding the plank.

    Motor Truck Logging Methods

    Frederick Malcolm Knapp

British Dictionary definitions for sanding


  1. loose material consisting of rock or mineral grains, esp rounded grains of quartz, between 0.05 and 2 mm in diameter
  2. (often plural) a sandy area, esp on the seashore or in a desert
    1. a greyish-yellow colour
    2. (as adjective)sand upholstery
  3. the grains of sandlike material in an hourglass
  4. US informal courage; grit
  5. draw a line in the sand to put a stop to or a limit on
  6. the sands are running out there is not much time left before death or the end
  1. (tr) to smooth or polish the surface of with sandpaper or sandto sand a floor
  2. (tr) to sprinkle or cover with or as if with sand; add sand to
  3. to fill or cause to fill with sandthe channel sanded up
Derived Formssandlike, adjective

Word Origin for sand

Old English; related to Old Norse sandr, Old High German sant, Greek hamathos


  1. George (ʒɔrʒ), pen name of Amandine Aurore Lucie Dupin. 1804–76, French novelist, best known for such pastoral novels as La Mare au diable (1846) and François le Champi (1847–48) and for her works for women's rights to independence
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 sanding



Old English sand, from Proto-Germanic *sandam (cf. Old Norse sandr, Old Frisian sond, Middle Dutch sant, Dutch zand, German Sand), from PIE *bhs-amadho- (cf. Greek psammos "sand;" Latin sabulum "coarse sand," source of Italian sabbia, French sable), suffixed form of root *bhes- "to rub."

Historically, the line between sand and gravel cannot be distinctly drawn. Used figuratively in Old English in reference to innumerability and instability. General Germanic, but not attested in Gothic, which used in this sense malma, related to Old High German melm "dust," the first element of the Swedish city name Malmö (the second element meaning "island"), and to Latin molere "to grind." Metaphoric for "innumerability" since Old English. Sand dollar, type of flat sea-urchin, so called from 1884, so called for its shape; sand dune attested from 1830.



late 14c., "to sprinkle with sand," from sand (n.); from 1620s as "to bury or fill in with sand." Meaning "to grind or polish with sand" is from 1858. Related: Sanded; sanding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sanding in Medicine


  1. Small, loose grains of worn or disintegrated rock.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

sanding in Science


  1. A sedimentary material consisting of small, often rounded grains or particles of disintegrated rock, smaller than granules and larger than silt. The diameter of the particles ranges from 0.0625 to 2 mm. Although sand often consists of quartz, it can consist of any other mineral or rock fragment as well. Coral sand, for example, consists of limestone fragments.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with sanding


see build on sand; hide one's head in the sand.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.