from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Small loose grains of worn or disintegrated rock.
  • n. Geology A sedimentary material, finer than a granule and coarser than silt, with grains between 0.06 and 2.0 millimeters in diameter.
  • n. A tract of land covered with sand, as a beach or desert. Often used in the plural.
  • n. The loose, granular, gritty particles in an hourglass.
  • n. Moments of allotted time or duration: "The sands are numb'red that makes up my life” ( Shakespeare).
  • n. Slang Courage; stamina; perseverance: "She had more sand in her than any girl I ever see; in my opinion she was just full of sand” ( Mark Twain).
  • n. A light grayish brown to yellowish gray.
  • transitive v. To sprinkle or cover with or as if with sand.
  • transitive v. To polish or scrape with sand or sandpaper.
  • transitive v. To mix with sand.
  • transitive v. To fill up (a harbor) with sand.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Rock that is ground more finely than gravel, but is not as fine as silt (more formally, see grain sizes chart), forming beaches and deserts and also used in construction.
  • n. A beach or other expanse of sand.
  • n. Personal courage (used before or around 1920s).
  • n. A particle from 62.5 microns to 2 mm in diameter, following the Wentworth scale.
  • n. A light beige colour, like that of typical sand.
  • adj. Of a light beige colour, like that of typical sand.
  • v. To abrade the surface of (something) with sand or sandpaper in order to smooth or clean it.
  • v. To cover with sand.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Fine particles of stone, esp. of siliceous stone, but not reduced to dust; comminuted stone in the form of loose grains, which are not coherent when wet.
  • n. A single particle of such stone.
  • n. The sand in the hourglass; hence, a moment or interval of time; the term or extent of one's life.
  • n. Tracts of land consisting of sand, like the deserts of Arabia and Africa; also, extensive tracts of sand exposed by the ebb of the tide.
  • n. Courage; pluck; grit.
  • transitive v. To sprinkle or cover with sand.
  • transitive v. To drive upon the sand.
  • transitive v. To bury (oysters) beneath drifting sand or mud.
  • transitive v. To mix with sand for purposes of fraud.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sprinkle with sand; specifically, to powder with sand, as a freshly painted surface in order to make it resemble stone, or fresh writing to keep it from blotting.
  • To add sand to: as, to sand sugar.
  • To drive upon a sand-bank.
  • n. Water-worn detritus, finer than that to which the name gravel would ordinarily be applied: but the line between sand and gravel cannot be distinctly drawn, and they frequently occur intermingled.
  • n. A tract or region composed principally of sand, like the deserts of Arabia; or a tract of sand exposed by the ebb of the tide: as, the Libyan Sands; the Solway sands.
  • n. Any mass of small hard particles: as, the sand of an hour-glass; sand used in blotting.
  • n. In founding, a mixture of sand, clay, and other materials used in making molds for casting metals.
  • n. Sandstone: so used in the Pennsylvania petroleum region, where the various beds of petroliferous sandstone are called oil-sands, and designated as first, second, third, etc., in the order in which they are struck in the borings. Similarly, the gas-bearing sandstones are called gas-sands.
  • n. plural The moments, minutes, or small portions of time; lifetime; allotted period of life: in allusion to the sand in the hour-glass used for measuring time.
  • n. Force of character; stamina; grit; endurance; pluck.
  • n. A message; a mission; an embassy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. rub with sandpaper
  • n. a loose material consisting of grains of rock or coral
  • n. fortitude and determination
  • n. French writer known for works concerning women's rights and independence (1804-1876)


Middle English, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English sand, from Proto-Germanic *samdaz (compare West Frisian sân, Dutch zand, German Sand, Danish sand), from Proto-Indo-European *sámh₂dʰos (compare Latin sabulum, Ancient Greek ἄμαθος (ámathos)), from *sem- 'to pour' (compare English dialectal samel 'sand bottom', Old Irish to-ess-sem 'to pour out', Latin sentina 'bilge water', Lithuanian sémti 'to scoop', Ancient Greek ἀμάω (amáō) 'to gather', ἄμη (amē) 'water bucket'). (Wiktionary)



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  • “Why is there sand in deserts? Because windblown sand collects in every low place, and deserts are low, like beaches,” Dillard writes.

    She wants us to ponder such accretion.

    Another heap of trouble! How heapful will that be!

    Actually, it (preforms) rocks!

    July 13, 2012

  • In the movie version he'll probably be played by Julian Sands--he played Liszt in Impromptu (a little film about Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin and her friends).

    July 13, 2012

  • It probably was wirtten by Charles Sanders Peirce though he perhaps was flinchish about the implcations.

    July 13, 2012

  • *draws a distinct line in the sand*

    Actually, this reminds me of the sorites paradox. Maybe it was written by Charles Sanders Peirce.

    July 13, 2012

  • George Sand wrote many novels about intermingling! Here's Chopin you would know about it!

    Otherwise refer to sand in Annie Dillard's 'For the Time Being' for any needed reference.

    July 13, 2012

  • "Water-worn detritus, finer than that to which the name gravel would ordinarily be applied: but the line between sand and gravel cannot be distinctly drawn, and they frequently occur intermingled."
    You just feel that this definition is some kind of compromise following a tea-room donnybrook over grainy particle nomenclature at the Century office.

    July 13, 2012

  • When I think of Palestine, I think of Biblical characters truding through sand. See skipvia's Free Association list.

    February 7, 2008

  • Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as being composed of grains that are between 62.5 micrometres and 2 millimetres in diameter.

    February 26, 2007

  • She was the best girl I ever see, and had the most sand. HF 29

    December 7, 2006