a windstorm, especially in a desert, that blows along great clouds of sand (distinguished from dust storm).

Origin of sandstorm

First recorded in 1765–75; sand + storm Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sandstorm

devil, duster, harmattan, khamsin, samiel, shaitan, simoom, sirocco

Examples from the Web for sandstorm

Contemporary Examples of sandstorm

Historical Examples of sandstorm

  • In the late afternoon of the third day of our journeying we drove into a sandstorm.

    "Fin Tireur"

    Robert Hichens

  • They had come to destruction, off the Great Desert, fleeing before a sandstorm.

  • No sandstorm ever fills up the hollows, or carries away the ridges.

  • They were dry from age, having probably been uncovered by a sandstorm.

    Captured by the Arabs

    James H. Foster

  • "Sandstorm" warned the Desert Rat, and spoke quickly to the mozo in Spanish.

    The Long Chance

    Peter B. Kyne

British Dictionary definitions for sandstorm



a strong wind that whips up clouds of sand, esp in a desert
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

sandstorm in Science



A strong wind that carries clouds of sand and dust through the air. Most of the particles in a sandstorm are between 0.08 and 1 mm (0.0032 and 0.04 inches) in size. Sandstorms usually are limited to within 3 m (10 ft) of the ground, rarely getting more than 15 m (49 ft) high. They develop in desert areas where loose sand can be stirred up by wind. Most sandstorms occur during the day when the Earth's surface heats up and dissipate at night as it cools.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.