Definition of volley in English:



  • 1A number of bullets, arrows, or other projectiles discharged at one time.

    ‘the infantry let off a couple of volleys’
    • ‘The frightened, penned-in cops responded with volleys of rubber bullets, tear gas and sometimes water cannons.’
    • ‘A volley of bullets ripped through the air and ricocheted into the hall.’
    • ‘Behind the battle line, the lieutenant of the youth's company had stopped a man who had fled after the first volley of bullets.’
    • ‘They let off a volley of flaming arrows, which light up the night like mad fireflies on a rampage.’
    • ‘During the ceremony, the Army, RAAF and Indonesian Defence Force provided honour guards and members of Australia's Federation Guard fired volleys over the graves.’
    • ‘The French cavalry charged into this funnel, hampered by volleys of arrows and by the wet ground; the rear lines piled into the front.’
    • ‘This turned out to be true, but 10,000 were murdered with volleys of arrows.’
    • ‘Royal Marines fired three volleys over the grave at the interment.’
    • ‘Police responded by firing volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets.’
    • ‘After the banner was marched into position on the parade ground, the four full guards on parade fired volleys in the ripple-effect drill movement known as Fieu de Joie or Joy of Sound.’
    • ‘As he was laid to rest, three Royal Marines fired a three-shot volley and a bugler sounded the Last Post.’
    • ‘I looked to see a volley of arrows being launched at us.’
    • ‘They ambushed them with a volley of missiles, taking all five out at the same time.’
    • ‘The archers obeyed and sent a volley of arrows onto the heads of the enemy.’
    • ‘Twenty officers mounted on horses quickly advanced, swinging batons, flanked by police on foot who fired concussion grenades and volleys of rubber bullets.’
    • ‘Normal war tactics involved massed ranks of lightly armed or armoured archers firing large volleys of arrows into formations of targets.’
    • ‘He was taking cover behind the ruined console, so he could avoid their first volley of bullets.’
    • ‘Almost immediately, a volley of arrows sailed past her, shredding leaves and diving into the fertile soil.’
    • ‘A precision attack system would not only reduce the number of volleys, it would also reduce the number of platforms needed to attack a target.’
    • ‘A volley of bullets ricocheted off the armoured walker.’
    barrage, cannonade, battery, blast, bombardment, broadside, salvo, fusillade
    storm, hail, shower, cascade, rain, stream, deluge, torrent, avalanche, blitz
    barrier of fire, curtain of fire, wall of fire
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    1. 1.1A series of utterances directed at someone in quick succession.
      ‘he unleashed a volley of angry questions’
      • ‘They oozed confidence and nothing could deter them - not even the volley of questions posed by judges.’
      • ‘For an agonizing 20 minutes, he politely fielded a volley of impertinent questions.’
      • ‘Drunken hecklers were a different matter: the only way to handle them was to unleash a volley of abuse, humbling them with a few crushing put-downs.’
      • ‘The actor faces a volley of questions relating to the accusation that the film had hurt the sentiments of the physically challenged.’
      • ‘Armed with their knowledge, the children fired a volley of questions at her.’
      • ‘Maybe lesser mortals would have been put off by the volley of abuse he directed at her but in the end she triumphed, aided and abetted by passers by and stallholders.’
      • ‘It was then that the volley of questions started.’
      • ‘But on Wednesday, facing a volley of questions from his fans from different parts of Tamil Nadu might not have been that easy.’
      • ‘Fifteen minutes into the usual volley of questions and answers, he suddenly stops, looks appalled and clasps a hand to his face.’
      • ‘After the screening, he answered a volley of questions from the audience - both children and adults.’
      • ‘My poor buddy didn't know what she had done wrong and could only stare in bewilderment at the volley of words being directed at her.’
      • ‘Enthusiasm filled the place as students fired a volley of questions, which the seasoned star answered with poise and complete ease.’
      • ‘After talking about four types of venomous snakes in the country, he faced a volley of questions from child participants.’
      succession, series, string, chain
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  • 2(in sport, especially tennis or soccer) a strike or kick of the ball made before it touches the ground.

    ‘a forehand volley’
    • ‘The striker shifted the ball from his right to left foot and unleashed a volley into the corner of the net, his 20th goal of the season.’
    • ‘The Liverpool striker scored with a volley that took the breath away.’
    • ‘Lee was obviously the best player, executing his shots, serves and volleys with the greatest of ease.’
    • ‘The challenges included running, catching, balancing tennis balls on rackets and practising ground strokes and volleys.’
    • ‘He has won each of his first eight service points with a mixture of aces, volleys and ground strokes.’


  • 1(in sport, especially tennis or soccer) strike or kick (the ball) before it touches the ground.

    ‘she volleyed the ball home’
    [no object] ‘he took his chance well, volleying into the top corner from 25 yards’
    • ‘Once you have mastered this routine, work on repeating the drill but volley each ball.’
    • ‘Instead of volleying the ball he would score goals in training with his knees.’
    • ‘But for once the luck is with him - he volleys the rebound spectacularly into the net.’
    • ‘She volleyed the ball over to Evelyn's half of the court.’
    • ‘He chipped the ball over the head of a defender before volleying the ball to the back of the net from inside the penalty area.’
  • 2Utter or discharge in quick succession.

    ‘the dog was volleying joyful barks’
    • ‘Both sides sung their national anthems with not a hint of booing, and spent most of the game indulging in volleying songs back and forth.’
    • ‘Before she could volley back a smart reply, he offered her his arm.’


Late 16th century: from French volée, based on Latin volare to fly.