a sport resembling boxing but permitting blows to be delivered with the feet as well as the hands.

1860–65; < French: literally, old shoe. See sabot Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
savate (səˈvæt)
a form of boxing in which blows may be delivered with the feet as well as the hands
[C19: from French, literally: old worn-out shoe; related to sabot]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

Fr. method of fighting with the feet, 1862, from Fr., lit. "a kind of shoe" (see sabotage).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


(Middle French: "old shoe"), French sport of fighting by kicking, practiced until the first half of the 19th century. It occurred mainly among the lower orders of Parisian society. When savate died out, its more skillful elements were combined with those of English bare-knuckle pugilism to produce la boxe francaise. The name savate continued to be used to describe any form of fighting in which the use of the feet was permitted. Two classic blows were a back heel aimed at the stomach and a double mule kick in the face delivered from a handstand position

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
He's been practicing savate over the last couple of years.
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