[soh-tey, saw-]
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verb (used with object), sau·téed [soh-teyd, saw-] /soʊˈteɪd, sɔ-/, sau·té·ing [soh-tey-ing, saw-] /soʊˈteɪ ɪŋ, sɔ-/.
  1. to cook in a small amount of fat; pan-fry.
  1. a dish of sautéed food.

Origin of sauté

1805–15; < French, past participle of sauter to jump (causative: to toss) < Latin saltāre, frequentative of salīre to jump Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for saute


verb -tés, -téing, -téeing or -téed
  1. to fry (food) quickly in a little fat
  1. a dish of sautéed food, esp meat that is browned and then cooked in a sauce
  1. sautéed until lightly brownsauté potatoes

Word Origin for sauté

C19: from French: tossed, from sauter to jump, from Latin saltāre to dance, from salīre to spring
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 saute

1813, from French sauté, literally "jumped, bounced" (in reference to tossing continually while cooking), past participle of sauter "to jump," from Latin saltare "to hop, dance," frequentative of salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). As an adjective, "fried quickly," from 1869. As a verb from 1859. Related: Sauteed.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper