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

  • intransitive v. To rush out or leap forth suddenly.
  • intransitive v. To issue suddenly from a defensive or besieged position to attack an enemy.
  • intransitive v. To set out on a trip or excursion: sallied forth to see the world.
  • n. A sudden rush forward; a leap.
  • n. An assault from a defensive position; a sortie.
  • n. A sudden emergence into action or expression; an outburst.
  • n. A sudden quick witticism; a quip. See Synonyms at joke.
  • n. A venturing forth; a jaunt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A leaping forth; a darting; a spring.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An excursion from the usual track; range; digression; deviation.
  • n. A flight of fancy, liveliness, wit, or the like; a flashing forth of a quick and active mind.
  • n. Transgression of the limits of soberness or steadiness; act of levity; wild gayety; frolic; escapade.
  • intransitive v. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. Same as sallow.
  • n. A leap or spring; a darting; a dance.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A run or excursion; a trip or jaunt; a going out in general.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An outburst, as of imagination, fancy, merriment, etc.; a flight; hence, a freak, frolic, or escapade.
  • n. The wren, Troglodytes parvulus.
  • n. A kind of stone-fly; one of the Perlidæ: as, the yellow sally, Chloroperla viridis, much used by anglers in England.
  • n. Also applied to several species of trees belonging to the genus Eucalyptus.
  • n. Acacia melanoxylon. See blackwood, 2.
  • n. Eucryphia Moorei. See plum, 7.
  • n. See salenixon.

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

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


From French saillie, a sally, from Old French, from feminine past participle of salir, to rush forward, from Latin salīre, to leap.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English saly, from Old English saliġ, sealh ("willow"). More at sallow. (Wiktionary)
From French saillie, from sailli, the past participle of the verb saillir 'to leap forth', itself from Latin salire 'to leap' (Wiktionary)
From salvation in Salvation Army, from Latin salvatio (Wiktionary)



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

    October 11, 2008

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

    May 2, 2008

  • Also 'Dear Sally' by Ben & Jason.

    February 9, 2008

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

    And "Sally Walker" by Leadbelly.

    February 9, 2008

  • Long Tall Sally by Little Richard
    Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett
    Sally Go 'Round the Roses by the Jaynetts

    February 8, 2008

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

    October 29, 2007