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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
1660-70; of uncertain origin
Related forms
saunterer, noun
1–3. amble, ramble, meander. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sauntering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • sauntering along, as if in a dream, imagine my delight when I saw coming towards me my beautiful and beloved Sylvia.

    Lumen Camille Flammarion
  • But already there is a feeling of sauntering in like an old hand at the game.

    Working With the Working Woman Cornelia Stratton Parker
  • It was ridiculous to be sauntering along the street hatless.

    The Blood Red Dawn Charles Caldwell Dobie
  • Theo Desmond sauntering in, scanned every detail with fastidious distaste.

  • May was sauntering along swinging her parasol, which she had not opened, as our whole way had lain in the shade.

    The House Opposite Elizabeth Kent
  • The girl was sauntering about, swinging a walking-cane carelessly.

    The Crack of Doom Robert Cromie
  • So Challis thought to himself as he lit another cigar, sauntering among the cut yew-hedges of a side-garden.

    It Never Can Happen Again William De Morgan
British Dictionary definitions for sauntering


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 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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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