Origin: F. Saillie, fr. Sailir. See Sally.

1. A leaping forth; a darting; a spring.

2. 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. "Sallies were made by the Spaniards, but they were beaten in with loss." (Bacon)

3. An excursion from the usual track; range; digression; deviation. "Every one shall know a country better that makes often sallies into it, and traverses it up and down, than he that . . . Goes still round in the same track." (Locke)

4. A flight of fancy, liveliness, wit, or the like; a flashing forth of a quick and active mind. "The unaffected mirth with which she enjoyed his sallies." (Sir W. Scott)

5. Transgression of the limits of soberness or steadiness; act of levity; wild gayety; frolic; escapade. "The excursion was esteemed but a sally of youth." (Sir H. Wotton) Sally port.

<astronomy> 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.

(01 Mar 1998)

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