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sally

[sal-ee]
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noun, plural sal·lies.
  1. a sortie of troops from a besieged place upon an enemy.
  2. a sudden rushing forth or activity.
  3. an excursion or trip, usually off the main course.
  4. an outburst or flight of passion, fancy, etc.: a sally of anger.
  5. a clever, witty, or fanciful remark.
  6. Carpentry. a projection, as of the end of a rafter beyond the notch by which the rafter is fitted over the wall plate.
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verb (used without object), sal·lied, sal·ly·ing.
  1. to make a sally, as a body of troops from a besieged place.
  2. to set out on a side trip or excursion.
  3. to set out briskly or energetically.
  4. (of things) to issue forth.
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Origin of sally

1535–45; < Middle French saillie attack, noun use of feminine past participle of saillir to rush forward < Latin salīre to leap
Related formssal·li·er, nounout·sal·ly, verb (used with object), out·sal·lied, out·sal·ly·ing.un·sal·ly·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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5. quip, witticism.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sallied

Historical Examples

  • The naked flats were very wide, and we sallied out, with the bridge as our guide.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Then they took up the box between them, and sallied out to meet the mail.

  • After breakfast he and Climene sallied forth to take the air upon the quays.

    Scaramouche

    Rafael Sabatini

  • As they sallied forth, Seuthes rose to accompany them, like the soberest of men.

    Anabasis

    Xenophon

  • At once the Apaches sallied forth from their cover in full cry after him.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt


British Dictionary definitions for sallied

sally1

noun plural -lies
  1. a sudden violent excursion, esp by besieged forces to attack the besiegers; sortie
  2. a sudden outburst or emergence into action, expression, or emotion
  3. an excursion or jaunt
  4. a jocular retort
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verb -lies, -lying or -lied (intr)
  1. to make a sudden violent excursion
  2. (often foll by forth) to go out on an expedition, etc
  3. to come, go, or set out in an energetic manner
  4. to rush out suddenly
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Derived Formssallier, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Old French saillie, from saillir to dash forwards, from Latin salīre to leap

sally2

noun plural -lies
  1. the lower part of a bell rope, where it is caught at handstroke, into which coloured wool is woven to make a grip
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Word Origin

C19: perhaps from an obsolete or dialect sense of sally 1 leaping movement

Sally

noun plural -lies
  1. a member of the Salvation Army
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sallied

sally

n.

1540s, "a sudden rush, dash, or springing forth; specifically of troops from a besieged place, attacking the besiegers," from Middle French saillie "a rushing forth," noun use of fem. past participle of saillir "to leap," from Latin salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). Sally-port "gate or passage in a fortification to afford free egress to troops in making a sally" is from 1640s.

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Sally

fem. proper name, alteration of Sarah (cf. Hal from Harry, Moll from Mary, etc.). Sally Lunn cakes (1780) supposedly named for the woman in Bath who first made them and sold them in the streets. Sally Ann as a nickname for Salvation Army is recorded from 1927.

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sally

v.

1540s, from sally (n.). Related: Sallied; sallying.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper