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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sauntered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He turned sharply and sauntered toward the open door of the house.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • As the girl entered the stable, Mortimer sauntered on in the direction Mike had gone.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Presently he sauntered out: the morning stir was just beginning in the village.

  • One Spring morning we had got up early and sauntered out together.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • I asked Charley one day, as we sauntered with our cigars on the terrace of the Adelphi.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • Then he sauntered back to his work with his pipe under full blast.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • Arrived at the rendezvous, Fandor sauntered along, awaiting developments.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • Master Bartlett sauntered up to take part in the conversation.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for sauntered


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 sauntered



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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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