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vol·ley / ˈvälē/ • n. (pl. -leys) 1. a number of bullets, arrows, or other projectiles discharged at one time: the infantry let off a couple of volleys. ∎  a series of utterances directed at someone in quick succession: he unleashed a volley of angry questions. ∎  Tennis an exchange of shots. 2. (in sports, esp. tennis or soccer) a strike or kick of the ball made before it touches the ground. • v. (-leys, -leyed) [tr.] (in sports, esp. tennis or soccer) strike or kick (the ball) before it touches the ground: he volleyed home the ball. ∎  score (a goal) with such a shot. ∎  [intr.] (in tennis and similar games) play a pregame point, sometimes in order to determine who will serve first. ∎  utter or discharge in quick succession: the dog was volleying joyful barks. DERIVATIVES: vol·ley·er n.

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volleydrily, kylie, Riley, shyly, slyly, smiley, Smily, wily, wryly •idly • kindly • wifely • likely • timely •Christly •knightly, nightly, sightly, sprightly •lively • fortnightly • housewifely •Barbirolli, brolly, collie, dolly, folly, golly, holly, jolly, lolly, Mollie, molly, Ollie, polly, poly, trolley, volley, wally •knobbly •Bodley, godly, oddly •wanly • Copley • fait accompli •costly •hotly, motley •softly-softly •Bengali, Cawley, crawly, creepy-crawly, Macaulay, Morley, Nepali, poorly, rawly, scrawly, squally •lordly •courtly, portly •jowly, Pauli •aïoli, coaly, coley, Foley, goalie, guacamole, holey, Holi, holy, lowly, moly, pinole, ravioli, roly-poly, Rowley, shoaly, soli •nobly • Oakley • homely •lonely, only •ghostly • Moseley •coyly, doily, oily

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a flight of missiles; a bursting forth of many things at once; a crowd of persons or things; a company of troops; a flock of birds in flight.

Examples: volley of anathemas, 1874; of angels, 1610; of archers, 1656; of arrows, 1598; of bullets; of small charms, 1749; of compliments, 1782; of darts,1788; of disgraces, 1593; of ring doves, 1601; of duns (debts, or the people trying to cover them), 1693; of grievances, 1779; of gunfire; of guns, 1839; of tumultuous hail, 1737; of love and loyalty, 1647; of merriment, 1877; of miseries, 1639; of musketry, 1817; of oaths, 1649; of praises, 1620; of scriptures, 1590; of shot, 1583; of stones, 1686; of words, 1591.

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volley simultaneous discharge of firearms or flight of missiles; utterance of many words, etc.; phr. at the v. of a ball in its flight, etc., (fig.) without consideration, at random XVI; return stroke at a ball before it has touched the ground XIX. — (O)F. volée :- Rom. *volāta flight, sb. use of pp. fem. of L. volāre fly; see -Y3.
Hence vb. XVI.