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[sawr-tee] /ˈsɔr ti/
a rapid movement of troops from a besieged place to attack the besiegers.
a body of troops involved in such a movement.
the flying of an airplane on a combat mission.
verb (used without object), sortied, sortieing.
to go on a sortie; sally forth.
Origin of sortie
1680-90; < French, noun use of feminine past participle of sortir to go out Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sorties
  • Guests can opt for guided sorties, or they can ride and paddle at their own whim.
  • But from here commanders supervise tens of thousands of sorties a year.
  • Today, conflicts tend to be drawn-out, low-intensity affairs requiring fewer but longer sorties by sea-launched planes.
  • Nonetheless, there is always a small minority of restless males who insist on making small sorties into the frozen countryside.
  • Yet clearly anybody who had taken refuge inside the caves would have survived the sorties.
  • These pilots have flown many sorties in this conflict into skies thick with anti-aircraft fire.
  • The first two sorties cover basic and advanced techniques for flying an airplane to its maximum level of performance.
  • Each aircraft will provide multiple sorties either flown sequentially or simultaneously.
  • Sometimes two truckloads are needed in one day of flying sorties.
British Dictionary definitions for sorties


  1. (of troops, etc) the act of emerging from a contained or besieged position
  2. the troops doing this
an operational flight made by one aircraft
a short or relatively short return trip
verb -ties, -tieing, -tied
(intransitive) to make a sortie
Word Origin
C17: from French: a going out, from sortir to go out
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sorties



"attack of the besieged upon the besiegers," 1778, from French sortie (16c.), literally "a going out," noun use of fem. past participle of sortir "go out," from Vulgar Latin *surctire, from Latin surrectus, past participle of surgere "rise up" (see surge (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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