[ sand ]
See 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.

  1. the sand or a grain of sand in an hourglass.

  2. sands, moments of time or of one's life: At this stage of his career the sands are running out.

  3. a light reddish- or brownish-yellow color.

  4. Informal. courage; pluck.

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.

  1. to fill up with sand, as a harbor.

  2. to add sand to: The mischievous child sanded the sugar.

Idioms about sand

  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

Other words from sand

  • sand·a·ble, adjective
  • sandless, adjective
  • sandlike, adjective
  • un·sand·ed, adjective
  • well-sanded, adjective

Words that may be confused with sand

Other definitions for Sand (2 of 3)

[ sand; French sahnd ]

  1. George [jawrj; French zhawrzh] /dʒɔrdʒ; French ʒɔrʒ/ Lucile Aurore Dupin Dudevant, 1804–76, French novelist.

Other definitions for sand. (3 of 3)


  1. sandwich. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sand in a sentence

  • The discovery of that lonely sanding-place had had a concrete reward.

    Unexplored Spain | Abel Chapman
  • Traction on grades up to 12% is easily secured by sanding the plank.

    Motor Truck Logging Methods | Frederick Malcolm Knapp
  • There were three methods of accomplishing this work, which in our camp were technically known as sanding, grassing and washing.

    The Awakening of the Desert | Julius C. Birge
  • The surfaces of metals may be changed with actual manipulation of the surface by frosting or sanding and plating.

    Industrial Arts Design | William H. Varnum
  • After sanding and assembling give the boat two coats of black or battle ship gray paint.

    Toy Craft | Leon H. Baxter

British Dictionary definitions for sand (1 of 2)


/ (sænd) /

  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

    • a greyish-yellow colour

    • (as adjective): sand upholstery

  1. the grains of sandlike material in an hourglass

  2. US informal courage; grit

  3. draw a line in the sand to put a stop to or a limit on

  4. 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 sand: to sand a floor

  2. (tr) to sprinkle or cover with or as if with sand; add sand to

  1. to fill or cause to fill with sand: the channel sanded up

Origin of sand

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

Derived forms of sand

  • sandlike, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for Sand (2 of 2)


/ (French sɑ̃d) /

  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

Scientific definitions for sand


[ sănd ]

  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.

Other Idioms and Phrases with sand


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.