a. Small loose grains of worn or disintegrated rock.
b. Geology A sedimentary material, finer than a granule and coarser than silt, with grains between 0.06 and 2.0 millimeters in diameter.
2. often sands A tract of land covered with sand, as a beach or desert.
a. The loose, granular, gritty particles in an hourglass.
b. sands Moments of allotted time or duration: "The sands are numb'red that makes up my life" (Shakespeare).
4. 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).
5. A light grayish brown to yellowish gray.
tr.v. sand·ed, sand·ing, sands
1. To sprinkle or cover with or as if with sand.
2. To polish or scrape with sand or sandpaper.
3. To mix with sand.
4. To fill up (a harbor) with sand.
[Middle English, from Old English.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.