sa·​shay | \ sa-ˈshā also sī- How to pronounce sashay (audio) \
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 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 Pat Cleveland is a trailblazing model that has sashayed, twirled and posed her way into legendary status. Nandi Howard, Essence, "ESSENCE Best In Black Fashion Awards: Our 2019 Icon Award Honoree Is Pat Cleveland," 3 Sep. 2019 The video montage, shared in July, first played footage of Vanderpump sashaying down a hallway while wearing a long, black gown with her husband, Ken Todd, walking behind her. Robyn Merrett,, "Lisa Vanderpump's Restaurant Blasts Guest Claiming They Got Sick and Defecated on Floor," 21 Aug. 2019 Guests including Tracee Ellis Ross, Laverne Cox, Kacey Musgraves, and more sashayed out of their Lyfts and into the Stonewall in their Camp finery. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Candy Boys and Girls Got #CottonCampy at the Annual Pre-Met Party," 6 May 2019 Models sashayed barefoot atop a wood-slat runway set on Lake Tahoe’s Rubicon Beach as the cerulean waters of this lake lapped at the sandy shoreline. Catherine Bigelow,, "League to Save Lake Tahoe Fashion Show is true blue at 50," 14 Aug. 2019 This is a woman who walked into this year's Met Gala in a floor length, feathery Marc Jacobs coat and later wore it while sashaying through the airport. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Lizzo and the dichotomy of big girl praise," 31 July 2019 The contestants in the beauty pageant sashayed in red bathing suits, paraded across the stage in evening gowns with plunging necklines and answered questions about climate change and human rights. Washington Post, "Mexico crowns transgender beauty queen in bid for acceptance," 30 July 2019 Black Girl magic prevailed, Pat Cleveland, Bethann Hardison and Alva Chinn sashayed and twirled down the catwalk with youthful vibrancy and pizazz. James Love, Essence, "Mikki Taylor, Alva Chinn And Deborah Riley Draper On How A 1973 Fundraiser Broke Color Barriers For Black Models," 9 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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

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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Statistics for sashay

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for sashay

The first known use of sashay was in 1836

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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

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

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 engage in dissolute behavior

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