sor·​tie | \ˈsȯr-tē, sȯr-ˈtē\

Definition of sortie 

1 : a sudden issuing of troops from a defensive position against the enemy

2 : one mission or attack by a single plane

3a : foray, raid

b : excursion, expedition diving sorties

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Other Words from sortie

sortie intransitive verb sortied; sortieing

Examples of sortie in a Sentence

an occasional sortie to the city to rummage through some of its numerous used-book stores

Recent Examples on the Web

To re-create the sortie over the Ruhr, the Lancasters had to fly far lower even than on the actual raid. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, "Michael Anderson, ‘Dam Busters’ director, dies at 98," 30 Apr. 2018 Aaron Lane, commander of the 36th Mobility Response Squadron, said that the international crews were flying up to 11 times daily out of Balikpapan, with the U.S. flying two to three of the sorties. Ben Otto And I Made Sentana, WSJ, "Indonesia Will Stop Digging for Quake Victims," 8 Oct. 2018 Instead of simply working onboard the Gateway in the emptiness of space, a part of the Orion’s crew can board the lander and make a sortie onto the lunar surface. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "NASA’s Return to the Moon Could Include a Reusable Lunar Lander," 23 Oct. 2018 Israeli officials note that the sorties on May 10th also hit Syrian anti-aircraft missile batteries, provided by Russia. The Economist, "Russia struggles to balance between Israel and Iran," 31 May 2018 One plane taking off and landing equals one sortie. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Planes headed for Wisconsin Air National Guard aren't just tech marvels, they're security for base," 1 Mar. 2018 Captain Joseph Trench Niez, the 28-year-old navigator on a B-52 bomber stationed on the Pacific island of Guam, enthuses about reassuring allies with sorties around the Philippines and Japan. The Economist, "Travels with General Dunford," 15 Feb. 2018 Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said the latest Israeli sortie, the third of the day, struck about 40 Hamas targets including tunnels, logistical centers, and a Hamas battalion headquarters. Aron Heller,, "Israel exchanges intense fire with Hamas militants in Gaza," 14 July 2018 By comparing them to historical documents and modern aerial photography, Stichelbaut and his colleagues could identify areas of interest—a skirmish here, a sortie there. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "Laser-Shooting Planes Uncover the Horror and Humanity of World War I," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sortie.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sortie

1778, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sortie

French, from Middle French, from sortir to go out, leave

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Dictionary Entries near sortie







sorting boom

Statistics for sortie

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sortie

The first known use of sortie was in 1778

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English Language Learners Definition of sortie

: a sudden attack in which a group of soldiers rush forward against an enemy

: a mission or attack by a single plane

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More from Merriam-Webster on sortie

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sortie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sortie

Spanish Central: Translation of sortie

Nglish: Translation of sortie for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sortie for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sortie

What made you want to look up sortie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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