Main definitions of sally in English

: sally1sally2

sally1

noun

  • 1A sudden charge out of a besieged place against the enemy; a sortie.

    charge, sortie, foray, thrust, drive, offensive, attack, raid, assault, descent, blitz, incursion, invasion, onset, inroad, onslaught, rush, onrush
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A brief journey or sudden start into activity.
    2. 1.2A witty or lively remark, especially one made as an attack or as a diversion in an argument; a retort.
      • ‘The show was certainly a lively, fast-moving, hilarious affair salted with quick-firing sallies of naval wit and wisdom.’
      • ‘In response to each new sally of witticism, the Indians would break into uncontrollable fits of merriment.’
      • ‘Jonathan laughed at that sally more than any of us; he has changed, and the Tory party ought to have recognised that.’
      • ‘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.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Make a military sortie.

    ‘they sallied out to harass the enemy’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Richard hesitated to land, not knowing the situation, but as soon as the garrison saw the sails, they sallied out to attack.’
    • ‘Forced to rely on their own resources, they sallied out of the city walls and routed Rory's army.’
    • ‘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.’’
    1. 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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.

Pronunciation:

sally

/ˈsalē/

Main definitions of sally in English

: sally1sally2

sally2

noun

  • The part of a bell rope that has colored wool woven into it to provide a grip for the bell-ringer's hands.

    • ‘There are two parts to the bell rope – the tail and the soft sally, which are pulled alternately to make the bell ring.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Mid 17th century (denoting the first movement of a bell when set for ringing): perhaps from sally in the sense leaping motion.

Pronunciation:

sally

/ˈsalē/