See more synonyms for volley on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural vol·leys.
  1. the simultaneous discharge of a number of missiles or firearms.
  2. the missiles so discharged.
  3. a burst or outpouring of many things at once or in quick succession: a volley of protests.
  4. Tennis.
    1. the flight of the ball before it hits the ground.
    2. the return of the ball before it hits the ground.
  5. Soccer. a kick of the ball before it bounces on the ground.
  6. Cricket. a ball so bowled that it hits the wicket before it touches the ground.
  7. Mining. the explosion of several charges at one time.
verb (used with object), vol·leyed, vol·ley·ing.
  1. to discharge in or as in a volley.
  2. Tennis. to return (the ball) before it hits the ground.
  3. Soccer. to kick (the ball) before it bounces on the ground.
  4. Cricket. to bowl (a ball) in such a manner that it is pitched near the top of the wicket.
verb (used without object), vol·leyed, vol·ley·ing.
  1. to fly or be discharged together, as missiles.
  2. to move or proceed with great rapidity, as in a volley.
  3. to fire a volley; sound together, as firearms.
  4. Tennis, Soccer. to return the ball before it touches the ground.

Origin of volley

1565–75; < Middle French volee flight, noun use of feminine past participle of voler to fly < Latin volāre
Related formsvol·ley·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for volley


  1. the simultaneous discharge of several weapons, esp firearms
  2. the projectiles or missiles so discharged
  3. a burst of oaths, protests, etc, occurring simultaneously or in rapid succession
  4. sport a stroke, shot, or kick at a moving ball before it hits the groundCompare half volley
  5. cricket the flight of such a ball or the ball itself
  6. the simultaneous explosion of several blastings of rock
  1. to discharge (weapons, etc) in or as if in a volley or (of weapons, etc) to be discharged
  2. (tr) to utter vehemently or sound loudly and continuously
  3. (tr) sport to strike or kick (a moving ball) before it hits the ground
  4. (intr) to issue or move rapidly or indiscriminately
Derived Formsvolleyer, noun

Word Origin for volley

C16: from French volée a flight, from voler to fly, from Latin volāre
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 volley

1570s, "discharge of a number of guns at once," from Middle French volee "flight" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *volta, fem. noun from Latin volatum, past participle of volare "to fly" (see volant). Sporting sense (originally in tennis) is from 1819 (v.), 1862 (n.), from notion of hitting the ball in flight.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

volley in Medicine


  1. The bursting forth of many things together, such as a synchronous group of impulses induced simultaneously by artificial stimulation of either nerve fibers or muscle fibers.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.