Meaning of shifting sands in English:

shifting sands

Pronunciation /ʃɪftɪŋ ˈsandz/


  • Used in reference to something that is constantly changing, especially unpredictably.

    ‘whether something is accepted depends upon the shifting sands of taste’
    • ‘Any minister required to speak for the government on its most enduring policy dilemma knows he is on shifting sands.’
    • ‘At the parish level I have experienced firsthand the shifting sands of Anglicanism from covenant to contract.’
    • ‘These questions found no purchase on the shifting sands of memory.’
    • ‘The fate of the City Hospital is nothing new to us across the Atlantic, where market economy dictates the shifting sands of the medical landscape.’
    • ‘At a time of great challenge in the world the commander in chief must stand on principle, not on the shifting sands of political convenience.’
    • ‘He built his long-term hopes for the prosperity of the church on the shifting sands of revival rather than the steady development of congregation-based programmes.’
    • ‘Aside from swings in the economy, the board has to contend with the shifting sands of global politics, a factor in re-shaping the company.’
    • ‘The religious history, while provocative, is built on shifting sands.’
    • ‘Clan alliances are built on shifting sands.’
    • ‘"That idea is built on the shifting sands of biology," says Sullivan.’