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  1. a rapid movement of troops from a besieged place to attack the besiegers.
  2. a body of troops involved in such a movement.
  3. the flying of an airplane on a combat mission.
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verb (used without object), sor·tied, sor·tie·ing.
  1. to go on a sortie; sally forth.
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Origin of sortie

1680–90; < French, noun use of feminine past participle of sortir to go out
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for sortie


    1. (of troops, etc) the act of emerging from a contained or besieged position
    2. the troops doing this
  1. an operational flight made by one aircraft
  2. a short or relatively short return trip
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verb -ties, -tieing or -tied
  1. (intr) to make a sortie
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Word Origin

C17: from French: a going out, from sortir to go out
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 sortie


"attack of the besieged upon the besiegers," 1778, from French sortie (16c.), literally "a going out," noun use of fem. past participle of sortir "go out," from Vulgar Latin *surctire, from Latin surrectus, past participle of surgere "rise up" (see surge (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper