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90s Slang You Should Know


[sawn-ter, sahn-] /ˈsɔn tər, ˈsɑn-/
verb (used without object)
to walk with a leisurely gait; stroll:
sauntering through the woods.
a leisurely walk or ramble; stroll.
a leisurely gait.
Origin of saunter
First recorded in 1660-70; of uncertain origin
Related forms
saunterer, noun
1–3. amble, ramble, meander. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for saunter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And while you pay your visit, I will saunter by a little brook that I think must run by your way.

    My Novel, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • When he is being played, many of us have to rush away and saunter in the foyer.

    Nights in London Thomas Burke
  • I made my way to the Grand Terrace, since it was agreed that we should saunter in the gardens when the dispute had been decided.

    The Lifted Veil George Eliot
  • We'll saunter slowly up to the village, and you can follow us.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • I stepped out, and walked on before, thankful for the incident, which had given me the opportunity of a saunter along the road.

  • He used to saunter out and casually kill a man before breakfast.

    Daddy Long-Legs Jean Webster
  • And the boys, taking a couple of blankets in which to carry the browse, saunter away to the flat below.

    Woodcraft and Camping George Washington Sears (Nessmuk)
British Dictionary definitions for saunter


verb (intransitive)
to walk in a casual manner; stroll
a leisurely pace or stroll
a leisurely old-time dance
Derived Forms
saunterer, noun
Word Origin
C17 (meaning: to wander aimlessly), C15 (to muse): of obscure origin
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 saunter

late 15c., santren "to muse, be in reverie," of uncertain origin despite many absurd speculations. Meaning "walk with a leisurely gait" is from 1660s, and may be a different word. Klein suggests this sense of the word derives via Anglo-French sauntrer (mid-14c.) from French s'aventurer "to take risks," but OED finds this "unlikely." Related: Sauntered; sauntering.


"a leisurely stroll," 1828, from saunter (v.). Earlier it meant "idle occupation, diversion" (1728).


"a leisurely stroll," 1828, from saunter (v.). Earlier it meant "idle occupation, diversion" (1728).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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