from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To rush out or leap forth suddenly.
  • intransitive verb To issue suddenly from a defensive or besieged position to attack an enemy.
  • intransitive verb To set out on a trip or excursion.
  • noun A sudden rush forward or leap.
  • noun An assault from a defensive position; a sortie.
  • noun A sudden effort toward action or expression.
  • noun A sudden quick witticism; a quip.
  • noun A venturing forth; a jaunt.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To leap; spring; dance.
  • To leap, dash, or spring forth; burst out; specifically, to make a sally, as a body of troops from a besieged place to attack the besiegers; hence, to set out briskly or energetically.
  • To mount; copulate with: said of horses.
  • noun A leap or spring; a darting; a dance.
  • noun A sudden rush, dash, or springing forth; specifically, a sudden and determined rush or eruption of troops from a besieged place to attack the besiegers; a sortie: as, the garrison made a sally.
  • noun A run or excursion; a trip or jaunt; a going out in general.
  • noun In architecture, a projection; the end of a piece of timber cut with an interior angle formed by two planes across the fibers, as the feet of common rafters.
  • noun An outburst, as of imagination, fancy, merriment, etc.; a flight; hence, a freak, frolic, or escapade.
  • noun See salenixon.
  • noun The wren, Troglodytes parvulus.
  • noun A kind of stone-fly; one of the Perlidæ: as, the yellow sally, Chloroperla viridis, much used by anglers in England.
  • noun Same as sallow.
  • noun Also applied to several species of trees belonging to the genus Eucalyptus.
  • noun Acacia melanoxylon. See blackwood, 2.
  • noun Eucryphia Moorei. See plum, 7.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To leap or rush out; to burst forth; to issue suddenly; as a body of troops from a fortified place to attack besiegers; to make a sally.
  • noun A leaping forth; a darting; a spring.
  • noun A rushing or bursting forth; a quick issue; a sudden eruption; specifically, an issuing of troops from a place besieged to attack the besiegers; a sortie.
  • noun An excursion from the usual track; range; digression; deviation.
  • noun A flight of fancy, liveliness, wit, or the like; a flashing forth of a quick and active mind.
  • noun Transgression of the limits of soberness or steadiness; act of levity; wild gayety; frolic; escapade.
  • noun (Fort.), (Naval) A large port on each quarter of a fireship, for the escape of the men into boats when the train is fired; a large port in an old-fashioned three-decker or a large modern ironclad.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A sortie of troops from a besieged place against an enemy.
  • noun A sudden rushing forth.
  • noun figuratively A witty statement or quip, usually at the expense of one's interlocutor.
  • noun An excursion or side trip.
  • noun A tufted woollen part of a bellrope, used to provide grip when ringing a bell.
  • verb intransitive To make a sudden attack on an enemy from a defended position.
  • verb intransitive To set out on an excursion; venture; depart (often followed by "forth.")
  • verb intransitive To venture off the beaten path.
  • noun A willow
  • noun Any tree that looks like a willow
  • noun An object made from the above trees' wood
  • noun New Zealand, slang A member of the Salvation Army.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a venture off the beaten path
  • noun a military action in which besieged troops burst forth from their position
  • noun witty remark


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From French saillie, a sally, from Old French, from feminine past participle of salir, to rush forward, from Latin salīre, to leap; see sel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French saillie, from sailli, the past participle of the verb saillir 'to leap forth', itself from Latin salire 'to leap'

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English saly, from Old English saliġ, sealh ("willow"). More at sallow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From salvation in Salvation Army, from Latin salvatio



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  • The H.M.S. Sally was listed as a "transport" captured at Yorktown in 1781.

    October 29, 2007

  • Long Tall Sally by Little Richard

    Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett

    Sally Go 'Round the Roses by the Jaynetts

    February 8, 2008

  • Also "Sally MacLennane," a GREAT song by the Pogues.

    And "Sally Walker" by Leadbelly.

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  • Also 'Dear Sally' by Ben & Jason.

    February 9, 2008

  • This is also a verb: To set out boldly, to go forth; also to dance

    May 2, 2008

  • It is also the Irish English form for willow. Also SALLEY.

    October 11, 2008