American English

Definition of sand noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] a substance that consists of very small, fine grains of rock. Sand is found on beaches, in deserts, etc. a grain of sand Concrete is a mixture of sand and cement. His hair was the color of sand. The children were playing in the sand (= for example, in a sandbox ).
  2. 2[uncountable, countable, usually plural] a large area of sand on a beach We went for a walk along the sand. children playing on the sand miles of golden sands see also sandy Thesauruscoastbeach shore coastline sand seashoreThese are all words for the land beside or near to the ocean, a river, or a lake.coast the land beside or near to the ocean:a town on the south coast of Georgia It is nearly always the coast, except when it is uncountable:That's a pretty stretch of coast.beach an area of sand, or small stones, beside the ocean or a lake:She took the kids to the beach for the day. sandy beachesshore an area that is by the ocean or a lake, especially one where people go for a day or a vacation:Let's go to the shore. The reef runs along the island's north shore.coastline the land along a coast, especially when you are thinking of its shape or appearance:California's rugged coastlinesand a large area of sand on a beach:We went for a walk on the sand. a resort with miles of golden sandsthe seashore the land along the edge of the ocean, usually where there is sand and rocks:He liked to look for shells on the seashore.beach or seashore?Beach is usually used to talk about a sandy area next to the sea where people lie in the sun or play, for example when they are on vacation. Seashore is used more to talk about the area by the sea in terms of things such as waves, sea shells, rocks, etc., especially where people walk for pleasure. It is often used in formal or literary contexts.Patterns along the coast/beach/shore/coastline/seashore on the coast/beach/shore/coastline/sands/seashore at the coast/beach/shore/seashore by the coast/shore/seashore a(n) rocky/unspoiled coast/beach/shore/coastline to go to the coast/beach/shore/seashore
  3. Idioms
    bury/stick your head in the sand
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    to refuse to admit that a problem exists or refuse to deal with it
    (the) shifting sands (of something)
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    used to describe a situation that changes so often that it is difficult to understand or deal with it
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sand