sal·ly / ˈsalē/ • n. (pl. -lies) a sudden charge out of a besieged place against the enemy; a sortie. ∎ a brief journey or sudden start into activity. ∎ a witty or lively remark, esp. one made as an attack or as a diversion in an argument; a retort. • v. (-lies, -lied) [intr.] make a military sortie: they sallied out to harass the enemy. ∎ formal or humorous set out from a place to do something: I made myself presentable and sallied forth. sal·ly2 • n. (pl. -lies) the part of a bell rope that has colored wool woven into it to provide a grip for the bell-ringer's hands.