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

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 Aron Heller,, "Israel exchanges intense fire with Hamas militants in Gaza," 14 July 2018 By comparing them to historical documents and modern aerial photography, Stichelbaut and his colleagues could identify areas of interest—a skirmish here, a sortie there.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 The squadron returned to a regular flying schedule Tuesday, logging 40 to 45 sorties. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "Commander halted Randolph training flights over pilots’ concerns," 28 June 2018 But for most strikes, that would require the carriers launching F-35C sorties to be much closer to the coast than falls within the comfort zone. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Navy’s F-35 doesn’t have range for real stealth strikes, House report says," 22 May 2018 In Syria, French warplanes carried out 23 sorties in late March and early April but fired no strikes, as part of support for Syrian opposition forces fighting in the last pockets of IS control. Washington Post, "France mulls military action against Syria for gas attacks," 12 Apr. 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

16 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for sortie

The first known use of sortie was in 1778

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More Definitions for sortie



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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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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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