[sawn-ter, sahn-]

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 formssaun·ter·er, noun

Synonyms for saunter

1–3. amble, ramble, meander. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sauntered

Contemporary Examples of sauntered

Historical Examples of sauntered

  • He turned sharply and sauntered toward the open door of the house.

  • As the girl entered the stable, Mortimer sauntered on in the direction Mike had gone.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for sauntered


verb (intr)

to walk in a casual manner; stroll


a leisurely pace or stroll
a leisurely old-time dance
Derived Formssaunterer, noun

Word Origin for saunter

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

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