noun, plural sal·lies.

verb (used without object), sal·lied, sal·ly·ing.

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 for sally


or Sal·lie



a female given name, form of Sarah. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sally

jaunt, outing, sortie, excursion, journey, frolic, escapade, trip

Examples from the Web for sally

Contemporary Examples of sally

Historical Examples of sally

  • The laughter at this sally was all it should have been, even the host joining in it.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Gray Peter had been fresher than Sally at the end of the run of the day before.

  • He looked at his hero, and then he looked into his mind and saw the picture of Sally.

  • Among these rocks, now, he would stand no chance with Sally.

  • All in all, Gray Peter was a glorious machine; Sally was a tricky intelligence.

British Dictionary definitions for sally



noun plural -lies

a sudden violent excursion, esp by besieged forces to attack the besiegers; sortie
a sudden outburst or emergence into action, expression, or emotion
an excursion or jaunt
a jocular retort

verb -lies, -lying or -lied (intr)

to make a sudden violent excursion
(often foll by forth) to go out on an expedition, etc
to come, go, or set out in an energetic manner
to rush out suddenly
Derived Formssallier, noun

Word Origin for sally

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



noun plural -lies

the lower part of a bell rope, where it is caught at handstroke, into which coloured wool is woven to make a grip

Word Origin for sally

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


noun plural -lies

a member of the Salvation Army
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 sally

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.


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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper