sor·​tie | \ ˈsȯr-tē How to pronounce sortie (audio) , 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 On his next sortie, his group failed to find a target. Ben Dooley, Star Tribune, "Former kamikaze pilot tells his story of a war he wasn't meant to survive," 3 Dec. 2020 On his next sortie, his group failed to find a target. Ben Dooley, New York Times, "He Escaped Death as a Kamikaze Pilot. 70 Years Later, He Told His Story.," 3 Dec. 2020 Media meltdown over Trump’s COVID case is the latest sortie in a four-year effort to destroy his campaign and then presidency. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Trump, Escaping Wile E. Coyotevirus," 6 Oct. 2020 The other, recently more popular type of fighter is the multi-role fighter, like the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet or the F-15EX Advanced Eagle, which are capable of performing both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, often in the same sortie. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "We Could See the Air Force's Secret New Fighter Jet Very Soon," 29 Sep. 2020 The head of the Air Force’s Global Strike Command reported earlier this month the B-1 force was generating more sorties, with up to 25 aircraft per day mission capable. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "45 Years Later, The B-1 Bomber Has Still Got It," 1 May 2020 Among those sorties, Pattnaik had a chance to fly over the Arabian Sea through the Western Ghats and sample data sets over the coastal and mountainous regions. Sahana Ghosh, Quartz India, "An Indian scientist flew along with the clouds to understand the monsoon," 5 Mar. 2020 The fastest and highest-flying Blackbird first arrived in Okinawa in March 1968; two months later, the A-12 flew its last operational sortie over North Korea, with the program already put out to pasture by the CIA. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk and Grimes Named Their Baby X Æ A-12. Here's the Plane Behind the Name," 6 May 2020 If, for example, a single plane can reliably hit ten times as many targets per sortie as its predecessor, the thinking goes, only a tenth as many planes are necessary, as ten will do the work of a hundred. Mark Helprin, National Review, "American Foreign and Defense Policy: Between Scylla and Charybdis," 16 Apr. 2020

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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Cite this Entry

“Sortie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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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