sa·​shay | \sa-ˈshā also sī- \
sashayed; sashaying; sashays

Definition of sashay 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a chassé

2a : walk, glide, go

b : to strut or move about in an ostentatious or conspicuous manner

c : to proceed or move in a diagonal or sideways manner



Definition of sashay (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : a square-dance figure in which partners sidestep in a circle around each other with the man moving behind the woman

3 : chassé

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Synonyms for sashay

Synonyms: Verb

prance, stalk, strut, swagger

Synonyms: Noun

excursion, jaunt, junket, outing, ramble, sally, sortie, spin

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Did You Know?


The French verb chassé ("to make a sliding dance step") danced into English unaltered in the early 19th century, but as the word gained popularity in America people often had difficulty pronouncing and transcribing its French rhythms. By 1836, sashay had begun to appear in print in American sources. Authors such as Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston, and John Updike have all since put their names on the word's dance card and have enjoyed the liveliness and attitude sashay adds to descriptions of movement. They and many, many others have helped sashay slide away from its French dance origins to strut its stuff in descriptions of various walks and moves.

Examples of sashay in a Sentence


The model sashayed down the runway. She sashayed into the room.


just a little weekend sashay we took to get away from it all
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To say that many of the Ru Paul's Drag Race contestants who've sashayed into our hearts have mindblowing makeup skills would be putting it mildly. Marci Robin, Allure, "Miss Fame of Drag Race Launched a Makeup Collection With Five Must-Have Lipsticks," 30 Sep. 2018 Jenner sat out the shows in New York but made her return in London on Riccardo Tisci’s debut Burberry catwalk, and has since sashayed on the Missoni, Moschino, and Versace runways in Milan. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Gives a Bossy Spin to Next Season’s Signature Shade," 26 Sep. 2018 As the slew of women and femmes sashayed down the catwalk confidently, with their heads held high, show attendees, including celebrities like Lauren Jauregui, Ty Dolla Sign, Hart Denton of Riverdale and Diggy Simmons cheered. Shammara Lawrence, Teen Vogue, "Teen Vogue x Snapchat's Body Party Event Celebrated Diversity in a Non-Tokenizing Way," 17 Sep. 2018 Wearing one of Miu Miu’s racing stripe overcoats, Thurman sashayed down the catwalk, looking into the crowd and even smiling at guests. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Uma Thurman Closes Miu Miu’s Star-Studded Resort 2019 Show," 30 June 2018 Guests including Lynn Wyatt, Laura Arnold, Whitney Crane and more feasted on City Kitchen's stuffed avocado, farro salad and ricotta tart as 37 looks sashayed down the catwalk. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Two glamorous Bayou Bend parties, one record-breaking weekend for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston," 10 Apr. 2018 At the Park Avenue Armory on Wednesday night, dozens of dancers paired off to spin and bounce, sashaying between 40-foot-high glittering curtains. New York Times, "Nick Cave Wants You to Work It Out on the Dance Floor," 8 June 2018 But now fans have the opportunity to start fresh, with 14 new queens sashaying their way into the revamped Werk Room for RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Poll: Who Do You Want to Win 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 10?," 22 Mar. 2018 But as dozens of gay and transgender dancers popped and sashayed on the catwalk before a cheering crowd, the ball’s M.C. reminded everyone what made the bash possible. Tacey Rychter And Isabella Kwai, New York Times, "Gay Mardi Gras in Sydney Goes Corporate, Clashing With Activist Roots," 27 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The sashay is also a square dance figure in which the partners take sideways steps to circle each other. John E. Mcintyre,, "In a word: sashay," 30 Apr. 2018 An existing relationship can take an extra steamy turn this week as Venus makes its final sashay across Leo’s fiery constellation. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What This Week's Horoscope Means for You," 11 Sep. 2017 Then Joanna did the sashay and shante in front of Alexa’s judgmental eye. Geoffrey A. Fowler, WSJ, "Amazon Wants to Judge Your Style, So We Judged Amazon," 2 Aug. 2017 Before the drag queens sashay between booths belting out Whitney Houston, Hamburger Mary’s is, first and foremost, a burger joint. Amy Lombard, Bon Appetit, "The drag queen burger joint that's planning world domination.," 10 July 2017 Widely hailed as the Beyoncé of Japan, Naomi Watanabe does spot-on impressions of Queen Bey down to every last stiletto stomp, sashay, and hair flip. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Watch the “Beyoncé of Japan,” Naomi Watanabe, Apply Her Stage Makeup," 11 July 2017 Ms. Della Femina, even with her devil-may-care sashay, is organized and responsible. Jane Gordon Julien, New York Times, "Of All the Taco Bells in All the Towns ...," 16 Dec. 2016 There’s Sashay up in Seattle to Baby Boom in Salt Lake City. Christa Titus, Billboard, "Jason Rivera on LGBTQ Acceptance In the Hard Rock/Metal Community," 29 June 2017 The popular Miami Beach bar and restaurant has been the place for glamorous drag queens to sashay and strut their stuff, entertaining patrons and tourists alike on the Ocean Drive strip. Johnny Diaz,, "Miami Beach's Palace Bar expected to close, for now," 29 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sashay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sashay


1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sashay


alteration of chassé

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Dictionary Entries near sashay





sash bar

sash cord

sash house

Statistics for sashay

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for sashay

The first known use of sashay was in 1836

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More Definitions for sashay



English Language Learners Definition of sashay

: to walk in a slow and confident way that makes people notice you

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More from Merriam-Webster on sashay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sashay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sashay

Nglish: Translation of sashay for Spanish Speakers

Comments on sashay

What made you want to look up sashay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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