sand


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bring sand to the beach

To do or undertake something redundant, pointless, or futile, usually in the context of bringing something to a location where it is abundant or unnecessary. The company always caters lunch for these meetings, so I don't know why you bring in your own sandwich. You might as well bring sand to the beach!
See also: beach, bring, sand

build (something) on sand

To create, provide, or use an unstable or impermanent foundation for something, such as a building, business, or relationship. It is taken from a parable in the Bible (Matthew 7:24–27 and Luke 6:46–49) in which Jesus warns that those who do not follow Him build their lives as houses on sand, liable to be washed away by the elements. In hindsight, I guess our relationship was kind of built on sand, since we didn't really have much in common to begin with. Without proper financing, you'll end up building your business on sand!
See also: build, on, sand

have (one's) head in the sand

To refuse to acknowledge or deal with problems, danger, or difficulty, especially in the hopes that they will resolve themselves. The phrase is a reference to ostriches, which were believed (incorrectly) to hide their heads in the ground at the sight of approaching danger. Your department clearly has its head in the sand regarding this security breach! You can't just always have your head in the sand whenever you're confronted with a problem in your relationship.
See also: have, head, sand

a line in the sand

A figurative boundary that someone or some group refuses to cross or beyond which no further advance or compromise is accepted. (Used especially in the phrase "draw a line in the sand.") The allocation of this new tax to pay for building schools has become a line in the sand for the governor's administration. I don't mind my roommate being a bit messy, but leaving dirty dishes for me to clean up is where I draw a line in the sand!
See also: line, sand

go pound sand

To go and engage in pointless, menial efforts or labor. Used as an imperative to express disdain, contempt, or dismissal. I can't believe Sam told his teacher to go pound sand. Where does that kid get such attitude? Charles, why don't you go pound sand instead of coming around here hassling me about my business?
See also: pound, sand

pound sand

To engage in pointless, menial efforts or labor. Used especially as an imperative to express disdain, contempt, or dismissal. I can't believe Sam told his teacher to go pound sand. Where does that kid get such attitude? Charles, why don't you pound sand instead of coming around here hassling me about my business?
See also: pound, sand

have enough sense to pound sand

To have a basic level of competence, intelligence, or common sense. Used most often in the negative to imply that someone lacks even that. I lost my faith in the political process when I realized that the people getting voted into Washington don't have enough sense to pound sand. That boy doesn't have sense enough to pound sand. What makes you think he'll be able to fix your computer?
See also: enough, have, pound, sand, sense

bury (one's) head in the sand

To avoid, or try to avoid, a particular situation by pretending that it does not exist. The phrase refers to the common but mistaken belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when frightened, so as to avoid being seen. Lou, you can't bury your head in the sand about your health—please, make an appointment with your doctor and get that rash checked out! A: "How has Peter been handling the break-up?" B: "Oh, just burying his head in the sand and ignoring his feelings."
See also: bury, head, sand

plow the sands

To do something that seems futile. I know that I'm just plowing the sands by telling you to stay away from that boy, but I'm your father, and I don't want to see you get hurt. That couch will never fit up the steps—tell them to stop plowing the sands!
See also: plow, sand

rope of sand

Something that is not as strong or stable as it seems. Yes, you're a fool to trust him, and this allegiance will soon prove to be a rope of sand. I thought I finally had a strong bond with my mother, but it was just a rope of sand—she's left us once again.
See also: of, rope, sand

sands are running out

There is a limited amount of time before something happens. The phrase refers to an hourglass, in which sand trickles from the top of the hourglass to the bottom through an opening until it has run out. The sands are running out—if she doesn't move out of that neighborhood, she'll be the next victim of a violent crime. I know that picking a college is a big decision, but the sands are running out.
See also: out, running, sand

bury one's head in the sand

 and hide one's head in the sand; have one's head in the sand
Fig. to ignore or hide from obvious signs of danger. (Alludes to an ostrich, which is believed incorrectly to hide its head in a hole in the ground when it sees danger.) Stop burying your head in the sand. Look at the statistics on smoking and cancer.
See also: bury, head, sand

draw a line in the sand

Fig. to create or declare an artificial boundary and imply that crossing it will cause trouble. Todd drew a line in the sand by giving his roommate an ultimatum about his sloppiness—he had to start cleaning up after himself or move out.
See also: draw, line, sand

sand something down

 
1. to make something smooth by rubbing it with sandpaper. (To act on the main body of the object, not the imperfections.) You should sand the board down before you paint it. Please sand down the board.
2. to remove bumps or imperfections on the surface of something by rubbing them with sandpaper. (To act on the imperfections, not the main body of the object.) Sand these bumps down, will you? Sand down these bumps, please.
See also: down, sand

sands of time

Fig. the accumulated tiny amounts of time; time represented by the sand in an hourglass. The sands of time will make you grow old like everyone else. My only enemy is the sands of time.
See also: of, sand, time

hide your head in the sand

also stick your head in the sand
to refuse to think about an unpleasant situation Teachers can't just hide their heads in the sand and not try to find out why students aren't doing better.
Usage notes: also used with bury and other verbs: All Olivia wanted to do was bury her head in the sand and forget everything.
See also: head, hide, sand

draw a line in the sand

also draw the line in the sand
to say that a particular idea or activity will not be supported or accepted The president has drawn a line in the sand, which means that if the foreign troops are not removed, they will be attacked.
Etymology: based on the idea of literally making a mark in sand to show someone they cannot move across it
See also: draw, line, sand

be built on sand

if something is built on sand, it is not firmly established and is likely to fail They seem quite happy now but I have a feeling that this marriage is built on sand.
See also: built, on, sand

bury your head in the sand

to refuse to think about an unpleasant situation, hoping that it will improve so that you will not have to deal with it Parents said bullying was being ignored, and accused the headmaster of burying his head in the sand.
See also: bury, head, sand

build on sand

Use an unstable foundation, as in If you buy nothing but high-risk stocks, your portfolio will be built on sand. This metaphor appears in the New Testament, where Jesus likens those who do not heed his sayings to a foolish man who builds his house on sand, which then is washed away by rain, flood, and wind (Matthew 7:24-27). [c. 1600]
See also: build, on, sand

hide one's head in the sand

Also, bury one's head in the sand. Refuse to face something by pretending not to see it. For example, For years we have been hiding our heads in the sand, refusing to admit that the store is losing money , or When it comes to a family quarrel, Dean just buries his head in the sand. This expression, transferred to human behavior in the early 1600s, alludes to the belief that ostriches burrow in sand thinking they will not be seen because they cannot see. In fact, however, when they do this, they are consuming sand and gravel to aid their digestive system.
See also: head, hide, sand

sand

n. sugar. Do you use sand in your coffee?

build on sand

To provide with an unstable foundation: Having bought only high-risk stocks, my portfolio was built on sand.
See also: build, on, sand
References in classic literature ?
There was sand in our eyes, sand in our teeth, sand in our suppers, sand dancing in the spring at the bottom of the kettle, for all the world like porridge beginning to boil.
I was naturally startled, and lost no time in going out and across the Ottershaw bridge to the sand pits.
Nevertheless, whatever my start sprang from was prophetic; for, as I gazed, he started walking briskly in a bee-line towards us across the wide wet sands.
In the faint light, too, we could descry dim galloping forms half hidden by wreaths of sand.
In the morning, after carefully returning the box to its hole and covering it over with sand, I called my servants about me, snatched a hurried breakfast, mounted my horse, and started upon a forced march for Algiers.
He pointed toward a fragment that had evidently fallen from the summit of the cliff and which now lay imbedded in the sand a few feet from the base.
And Jerry did, uncovering two eggs, breaking them and lapping that portion of their precious contents which was not spilled and wasted in the sand.
Casks and chests of it, casks and chests of it, oodles and oodles, a fathom under the sand," chattered the Ancient Mariner.
They came to a halt beyond the house, and, after much irresolution, sat down in the sand.
For the Deadly Sands will Turn Any Living Flesh to Dust in an instant.
It was agreed that we should walk as far as we felt inclined in the direction of Broadstairs, and that Eustace should follow and meet us on the sands, after having completed his arrangements on board the yacht.
French Frank, aided by John Barleycorn, orated hypocritically about virtue and honesty, and, despite his fifty years, got Whisky Bob out on the sand and proceeded to lick him.
Next to the water was a broad beach of white sand and gravel, and farther back were several rocky hills, while beyond these appeared a strip of green trees that marked the edge of a forest.
They play with men and run them through their pretty fingers like sand.
Far down, she saw its entrance between the bar of sand dunes on one side and a steep, high, grim, red sandstone cliff on the other.