a rapid movement of troops from a besieged place to attack the besiegers.
a body of troops involved in such a movement.
the flying of an airplane on a combat mission.

verb (used without object), sor·tied, sor·tie·ing.

to go on a sortie; sally forth.

Nearby words

  1. sort out,
  2. sorta,
  3. sortal,
  4. sortation,
  5. sorted,
  6. sortilege,
  7. sorting,
  8. sorting tracks,
  9. sorting yard,
  10. sortition

Origin of sortie

1680–90; < French, noun use of feminine past participle of sortir to go out Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sortie

British Dictionary definitions for sortie



  1. (of troops, etc) the act of emerging from a contained or besieged position
  2. the troops doing this
an operational flight made by one aircraft
a short or relatively short return trip

verb -ties, -tieing or -tied

(intr) to make a sortie

Word Origin for sortie

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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper