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[sand-pey-per] /ˈsændˌpeɪ pər/
strong paper coated with a layer of sand or other abrasive, used for smoothing or polishing.
verb (used with object)
to smooth or polish with or as if with sandpaper.
Origin of sandpaper
1815-25; sand + paper Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sandpaper
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If the animal does not stand perfectly, rub the feet on a piece of sandpaper.

    Primary Handwork Ella Victoria Dobbs
  • The sandpaper must be applied unsparingly and always with the grain.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats Raymond Francis Yates
  • How you used to boast that your fingers needed no sandpaper to sharpen their exquisite touch!

    Pippin; A Wandering Flame Laura E. Richards
  • He could hear a faint rasping like the rustle of sandpaper, as they did so.

  • The leaves have rough upper surface and are used as sandpaper: Ficus odorata and ulmifolia.

  • His throat was like sandpaper and the words came out in a rasp.

    The Dark Door Alan Edward Nourse
  • If it is wanted extra soft the skin may be thinned down with sandpaper.

  • In this case, the smooth surface of the sandpaper would be against the saw.

    Handwork in Wood William Noyes
  • The insulation on the wire is removed with a small piece of sandpaper pasted on a block of wood.

British Dictionary definitions for sandpaper


(formerly) a strong paper coated with sand for smoothing and polishing
a common name for glasspaper
(transitive) to polish or grind (a surface) with or as if with sandpaper
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sandpaper

also sand-paper, 1788, from sand (n.) + paper (n.).


1835, from sandpaper (n.). Related: Sandpapered; sandpapering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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