One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A sudden charge out of a besieged place against the enemy; a sortie.‘the garrison there made a sally against us’charge, sortie, foray, thrust, drive, offensive, attack, raid, assault, descent, blitz, incursion, invasion, onset, inroad, onslaught, rush, onrushView synonyms
- 1.1 A brief journey or sudden start into activity.‘his energetic sallies into the fields during harvesting’expedition, excursion, trip, outing, jaunt, run, visit, tour, escapade, airingView synonyms
- 1.1 A brief journey or sudden start into activity.
2A witty or lively remark, especially one made as an attack or as a diversion in an argument; a retort.‘there was subdued laughter at this sally’‘his sally at Descartes’
witticism, witty remark, smart remark, quip, barb, pleasantry, epigram, aphorismView synonyms
- ‘The show was certainly a lively, fast-moving, hilarious affair salted with quick-firing sallies of naval wit and wisdom.’
- ‘Jonathan laughed at that sally more than any of us; he has changed, and the Tory party ought to have recognised that.’
- ‘In response to each new sally of witticism, the Indians would break into uncontrollable fits of merriment.’
- ‘Michael furiously takes down all the witty sallies and asides, converting the evening into his next gay play, and, hopefully, a success.’
- ‘To each sally Lilí responded in kind, with squeals.’
1no object, with adverbial of direction Make a military sortie.‘they sallied out to harass the enemy’
- ‘Forced to rely on their own resources, they sallied out of the city walls and routed Rory's army.’
- ‘But when Lentulus with a large army besieged Spartacus, he sallied out upon him, and, joining battle, defeated his chief officers, and captured all his baggage.’
- ‘When he sallied out to meet the enemy, his army consisted of 160 knights.’
- ‘The city guard sallied out and drove away the Crusaders, but the Franks returned to Civetot laden with booty and regaling everyone with tales of their great ‘victory.’’
- ‘Richard hesitated to land, not knowing the situation, but as soon as the garrison saw the sails, they sallied out to attack.’
- 1.1formal, humorous Set out from a place to do something.‘I made myself presentable and sallied forth’
- ‘So it was with great anticipation and alacrity that G.H.S. Tramp Club enthusiasts sallied forth every third Saturday.’
- ‘I awoke in the forenoon, pulled on my robe and sallied forth into the kitchen where I found my friend quite naked save for a pair of the most threadbare of undergarments.’
- ‘We sallied forth to Finsbury Park around three o'clock, joining the tens of thousands that were in attendance already, and the seemingly equal number that filed in thereafter as we sat and waited for further friends to arrive.’
- ‘After an excellent dinner of squid, shrimp, and vegetables, we sally forth in search of a pub, but are unable to find one.’
- ‘So after about 20 minutes attempting 73 different and equally ridiculous configurations of the harness, including one that actually prevented BJ from standing up, we bravely sallied forth.’
Late Middle English: from French saillie, feminine past participle (used as a noun) of saillir ‘come or jut out’, from Old French salir ‘to leap’, from Latin salire.
The part of a bell rope that has coloured wool woven into it to provide a grip for the bell-ringer's hands.
- ‘The teaching of the ringing of the backstroke ends when you can confidently let the learner ring it without intervention and you feel that he can set the bell at will and he can recover if the sally is not pulled with the correct strength.’
- ‘There are two parts to the bell rope the tail and the soft sally, which are pulled alternately to make the bell ring.’
Mid 17th century (denoting the first movement of a bell when set for ringing): perhaps from sally in the sense ‘leaping motion’.
Any of a number of acacias and eucalyptuses that resemble willows.
Several species, including white sally (Eucalyptus pauciflora, family Myrtaceae)
- ‘The West of Ireland is favoured for this form of horticulture: the damp climate is ideally suited for willow cultivation, and for impatient gardeners the sally gives satisfyingly speedy results.’
Late 19th century: dialect variant of sallow.
The Salvation Army.
- ‘His wife, Mary, back in New Zealand, chanced upon a copy of War Cry, the Sallies magazine, which mentioned Moss's rehabilitation.’
- ‘Although charity shops were once considered to be down-at-heel places into which nice people did not step, now no one much raises an eyebrow at the mention of spare time spent rummaging around in the local Sallies store.’
- ‘The soles on these are wearing thin - time for another visit to the Sallies.’
- ‘I have to go back to my parents place and cart a bunch of old clothes to the Sallies or do something with them.’
Early 20th century: alteration of salvation.
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