sa·​shay | \ sa-ˈshā How to pronounce sashay (audio) 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

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Synonyms for sashay

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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

Verb The model sashayed down the runway. She sashayed into the room. Noun just a little weekend sashay we took to get away from it all
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Between two rows of Lucite chairs and tables set on Neiman Marcus' second-floor, larger-than-life ballgowns sashay down the runway. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Zac Posen visits Houston for an early birthday lunch hosted by Kristina Somerville at Neiman Marcus," 23 Oct. 2019 RuPaul is sashaying back into the world of scripted television in the first teaser for his upcoming Netflix series AJ and the Queen. Joey Nolfi,, "RuPaul glistens as Ruby Red in first look at AJ and the Queen Netflix series," 19 Nov. 2019 But it’s choreographer Jessica Redish who supplies the show’s crucial aesthetic touches, filling the competitors’ onstage sequences with leaps, sashays, punk tantrums and tango pivots. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "In ‘Airness,’ the axes are invisible but the play is loud," 19 Nov. 2019 Dancers shook leg rattles and women in white skirts and lavender coats twirled and sashayed up the street, the paint on their faces smeared and runny from the rain. Washington Post, "Skulls, masks and dancers as Mexico fetes Day of the Dead," 2 Nov. 2019 Below, a handful of women and small children sashay across the stage. Jessica Klein, Fortune, "As ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Expands to the U.K., DragCon Shines Light on Its Mainstream Success," 24 Sep. 2019 Toward the end of the class, the staffers who had been working at the check-in desk skipped in and sashayed across the studio, wielding flashlights and positive attitudes. Katherine Rosman, New York Times, "They Paid $42 for a SoulCycle Ride, Not for Trump," 8 Aug. 2019 Lastly, before the professional catwalkers sashayed in designer looks from Neiman Marcus, a special Veterans Day Salute recognized farmer trainees Miles Cooke, Oriana Franklin, Sam MacCammon and Linda Stafford for their service. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Recipe for Success serves Neiman Marcus fashion, brunch and Tito's Vodka at Hope Farms," 13 Nov. 2019 Gangnam style, the Harlem Shake, the whip, flossing, and the triangle have all sashayed across social media, leaving how-tos and trend pieces in their wake. Wired, "‘Joker Stairs’ and the Problem With Meme Tourism," 24 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Selena Gomez coos about self-care over music that inspires only slight sashays. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Pop Music’s Version of Life Doesn’t Exist Anymore," 19 Mar. 2020 There are more than enough nods (and even a sashay) to its predecessor in the sequel that matured fans will love and appreciate — but where does that leave children like mine? Lacey Vorrasi-banis,, "What parents should know before taking their kids to see Frozen 2: Opinion," 20 Nov. 2019 Our goose can do the aforementioned honk and also waddle — more of a try-not-to-love me sashay, actually — and use a nimble, elongated neck to pry radio wires free or hide under a table. Los Angeles Times, "What to play: ‘Untitled Goose Game’ gives us the rebel superhero we need — a goose," 28 Sep. 2019 Many have seen New York City Ballet’s principal dancer Tiler Peck sashay across the stages of Lincoln Center, Broadway, and beyond. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia Pas de Deux at a Benefit for the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation," 22 Jan. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for sashay

Time Traveler

The first known use of sashay was in 1836

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Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sashay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for sashay


How to pronounce sashay (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sashay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sashay

Nglish: Translation of sashay for Spanish Speakers

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