Definition of built upon/on sand in US English:

built upon/on sand


  • Without reliable foundations or any real substance.

    ‘what more could you expect from a relationship built upon sand?’
    • ‘When your faith brings you more downs than ups you probably have ‘blind faith’ (faith that is not well grounded - a house built on sand, to borrow a phrase).’
    • ‘We must recognise, however, as many modern philosophers have done, that the bases are at least as likely to be built on sand as they are on rock.’
    • ‘Your Honour, I want to emphasise, this is a foundation built on sand.’
    • ‘Drama develops out of a crisis when Marchbanks declares his love for Candida to Morell, who suddenly realises that the foundations of his marriage are built on sand.’
    • ‘It is only in the hindsight that life reveals whether the foundation is built on sand or stone.’
    • ‘But just as important, the arguments supporting the policy are unraveling and there is increasing awareness that its rationale is built on sand.’
    • ‘At the same time, if we have interpreted that event wrongly in the sense that there is no discontinuity discoverable there, the rest of the endeavor would probably be built on sand.’
    • ‘His kingship is built on sand, witches and puppeteers pull his strings, and Lady Macbeth shouts at him like a fish wife when he forgets to deposit his murder weapons on Duncan's guards.’
    • ‘The whole school system is built on sand because it is trying to teach children who lack social stability.’
    • ‘Does he recognise that the house built on rock, i.e., a solid infrastructure, will endure while that built on sand (promises and promises) will surely fall?’
    uncertain, insecure, unreliable, unsure, unpredictable, undependable, risky, hazardous, dangerous, unsafe, hanging by a thread, hanging in the balance, perilous, treacherous, on a slippery slope, on thin ice, touch-and-go, built on sand, doubtful, dubious, delicate, tricky, problematic
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