• synonyms


[sawn-ter, sahn-]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to walk with a leisurely gait; stroll: sauntering through the woods.
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  1. a leisurely walk or ramble; stroll.
  2. a leisurely gait.
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Origin of saunter

First recorded in 1660–70; of uncertain origin
Related formssaun·ter·er, noun


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1–3. amble, ramble, meander.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for sauntering


verb (intr)
  1. to walk in a casual manner; stroll
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  1. a leisurely pace or stroll
  2. a leisurely old-time dance
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Derived Formssaunterer, 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

Word Origin and History for sauntering



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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper