1 : to make a chassé
b : to strut or move about in an ostentatious or conspicuous manner
c : to proceed or move in a diagonal or sideways manner
Did You Know?
Orthographically, there's no denying that chassé is French. It is from the French past participle of chasser, meaning "to chase," and it danced into English in the beginning of the 19th century. As the word gained popularity in America, people often had difficulty pronouncing and transcribing its French rhythms. It wasn't long before 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.
"… our springs often seem more like a magical mystery tour than just another day on the calendar; life exploding out of the ground, flowers everywhere … ; the smell of freshly cut grass; a lighter step in a young man's foot, young women smiling for no reason at all as they sashay along Queen Street." — J. D. Reid, The Niagara-on-the-Lake Advance, 26 Mar. 2018
"Best known as the sparkly-suited man behind the world-touring, billion dollar-earning extravaganza that is Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley—who hung up his dancing shoes in 2016 … —has spent the past couple of years quietly sashaying into the world of filmmaking." — Alex Ritman, Hollywoodreporter.com, 28 Sept. 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
What synonym of sashay, meaning "to strut," also refers to a horse's high-step walk?VIEW THE ANSWER
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