Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To walk at a leisurely pace; stroll.
  • noun A leisurely pace.
  • noun A leisurely walk or stroll.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A stroll; a leisurely ramble or walk.
  • noun A leisurely, careless gait.
  • noun A sauntering-place; a loitering- or strolling-place.
  • To venture (?). See sauntering, 1.
  • To hesitate (?).
  • To wander idly or loiteringly; move or walk in a leisurely, listless, or undecided way; loiter; lounge; stroll.
  • To dawdle; idle; loiter over a thing.
  • Synonyms Stroll, Stray, etc. See ramble, v.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A sauntering, or a sauntering place.
  • intransitive verb To wander or walk about idly and in a leisurely or lazy manner; to lounge; to stroll; to loiter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To stroll, or walk at a leisurely pace
  • noun A leisurely walk or stroll.
  • noun A leisurely pace.
  • noun obsolete A place for sauntering or strolling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
  • noun a leisurely walk (usually in some public place)
  • noun a careless leisurely gait

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably from Middle English santren, to muse.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Etymology unclear. In sense “to stroll”, attested 1660s; noun sense “a stroll” attested 1828. Perhaps from earlier term meaning “to muse”, late 15th century, from Middle English santren, of Unknown origin. Alternatively, from Anglo-Norman sauntrer (mid 14th century), from French s'aventurer ("to take risks"), but this is considered unlikely; compare Middle English aunter ("adventure"). May be of Germanic origin, with proposed cognates being German schlendern, Danish slentre, Swedish slentra, Icelandic slentr, all meaning “to stroll“. Various fanciful folk etymologies also given.

Examples

  • "Jason Dufner's walk defines the word 'saunter,'" Graeme McDowell tweeted.

    SI.com

  • "Jason Dufner's walk defines the word 'saunter,'" Graeme McDowell tweeted.

    CNN.com

  • Sax liked Thoreau's explanation for the word saunter: from à la Sainte Terre, describing pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land.

    languagehat.com: SAUNTER.

  • The word saunter, like many others, can't be traced back very far (AHD: Probably from Middle English santren, to muse), but of course that doesn't stop people from trying, and this word has a particularly enjoyable pseudo-etymology, discussed in the following typically piquant passage from one of the stories in Kim Stanley Robinson's The Martians (a book I recommend to anyone who likes thoughtful, human-oriented science fiction):Long walks around Odessa at the end of the day.

    languagehat.com: SAUNTER.

  • To take a walk is to vegetate; to saunter is to live.

    The Physiology of Marriage, Complete

  • To take a walk is to vegetate; to saunter is to live.

    The Physiology of Marriage, Part 1

  • To take a walk is to vegetate; to saunter is to live.

    Analytical Studies

  • (He had gotten 'saunter' from listening to Daddy's character, the "cool guy," No Way Jose.) 1 comment | Leave a comment

    How do you saunter?

  • As opposed to the guy who sits in the same spot every day asking for a hand-out, the bum [from the German for "saunter"] roams freely throughout the city, the country, the planet: He is king of the road.

    Boing Boing

  • She's the poster child for the word "saunter" and her curvy, busty frame totally gives the finger to heroin chic while completely oozing sex appeal.

    The Girl I WANT To Be

Comments

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  • This word takes me back to summers in the 1980s, watching Test match special. Jim Laker intones: 'Here comes Viv Richards, sauntering to the wicket'. The word captures Viv's relaxed disdain for the people who would bowl at him.

    December 14, 2006

  • Interesting citation at saunterer.

    October 6, 2009