Words related to sand

gravel (n.)

"stone in small, irregular fragments," early 13c., from Old French gravele "sand, gravel; sea-shore; sandy bed of a river," diminutive of grave "sand, seashore" (Modern French grève), possibly from Celtic *graw- (compare Welsh gro "coarse gravel," Breton grouan, Cornish grow "gravel"), perhaps ultimately from PIE *ghreu- "to rub, grind" (see grit (n.)). Gravel-crusher was World War I slang for "infantryman."

psammite (n.)

"sandstone," by 1817, from Greek psammos "sand" (see sand (n.)) + -ite (1). Related: Psammitic.


word-forming element meaning "sand," from Greek psammos "sand," related to psamathos (see sand (n.)). Related: Psammic.


before vowels psil-, word-forming element meaning "stripped, bare," used mostly in forming scientific terms, from Greek psilos "bare, naked; mere," perhaps akin to psēn "to rub," and both or either perhaps from PIE root *bhes- "to rub" (source also of Greek psamathos "sand;" see sand (n.)). Middle English had psilotre "a depilatory ointment" (c. 1400).

quicksand (n.)

"movable, very loose sand bank in a sea, lake, or river," capable of swallowing heavy objects and sometimes dangerous to vessels or travelers," c. 1300, from Middle English quyk "living" (see quick (adj.)) + sond "sand" (see sand (n.)). Figurative use by 1590s. Old English had cwecesund, but this might have meant "lively strait of water."

sabulous (adj.)

"sandy, gritty," 1630s, from Latin sabulosus "sandy," from sabulum "coarse sand" (see sand (n.)). Related: Sabulosity.

sandbag (n.)

"bag filled with sand" (as ballast, for fortification, or as a weapon), 1580s, from sand (n.) + bag (n.).

sand-bank (n.)

"hill of sand formed in a river or sea by tides and currents," 1580s; see sand (n.) + bank (n.2).

sandbar (n.)

also sand-bar, "bank of sand formed by action of water in the bottom of a river or at its mouth," 1755, from sand (n.) + bar (n.1).

sand-blast (v.)

"to blast with sand" (so as to clean or polish a hard surface), 1878 (implied in sand-blasted), from sand (n.) + blast (v.). Earlier as a noun, "contrivance to drive sand by air or steam." Related: Sand-blasting.