Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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See also: Sally


Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): /ˈsæli/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æli
  • Rhymes: -ɑːli

Etymology 1[edit]

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


sally (plural sallies)

  1. A willow
  2. Any tree that looks like a willow
  3. An object made from the above trees' wood
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from French saillie, from sailli, the past participle of the verb saillir (to leap forth), itself from Latin salīre (to leap)


sally (plural sallies)

  1. A sortie of troops from a besieged place against an enemy.
  2. A sudden rushing forth.
  3. (figuratively) A witty statement or quip, usually at the expense of one's interlocutor.
    • 2012 April 26, Tasha Robinson, “Film: Reviews: The Pirates! Band Of Misfits”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      The stakes are low and the story beats are incidental amid the rush of largely mild visual gags and verbal sallies like “Blood Island! So called because it’s the exact shape of some blood!”
  4. An excursion or side trip.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Locke and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Everyone 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.
  5. A tufted woollen part of a bellrope, used to provide grip when ringing a bell.
See also[edit]


sally (third-person singular simple present sallies, present participle sallying, simple past and past participle sallied)

  1. (intransitive) To make a sudden attack on an enemy from a defended position.
    The troops sallied in desperation.
  2. (intransitive) To set out on an excursion; venture; depart (often followed by "forth.")
    As she sallied forth from her boudoir, you would never have guessed how quickly she could strip for action. -William Manchester
  3. (intransitive) To venture off the beaten path.

Etymology 3[edit]

salvation +‎ -y


sally (plural sallies)

  1. (New Zealand, slang) A member of the Salvation Army.

Related terms[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]


sally (plural sallies)

  1. A kind of stonefly.
  2. A wren.