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vol·ley (vŏlē)
Share:
n. pl. vol·leys
1.
a. A simultaneous discharge of a number of bullets or other projectiles.
b. The bullets or projectiles so discharged.
2. A group of remarks, expressions, or actions directed toward a certain recipient or audience: a volley of oaths; a volley of laughter.
3. Sports
a. An exchange of strokes in a court game, such as volleyball, ending when one side fails to make a good return and resulting in a point or the loss of service.
b. A stroke, kick, or other strike of the ball made before the ball touches the ground.
c. The flight of a ball before it touches the ground: kicked the soccer ball on the volley.
v. vol·leyed, vol·ley·ing, vol·leys
v.tr.
1. To discharge (projectiles) in a volley: volleyed musket shots at the attackers.
2. Sports To strike (a tennis ball, for example) before it touches the ground.
3. To direct or send in a mass or series: volleyed insults at each other.
v.intr.
1. To be discharged in a volley.
2. Sports To make a volley, especially in tennis.
3. To move or be directed rapidly, forcefully, or loudly in a mass or series: The hailstones volleyed down. Charges and countercharges volleyed through the courtroom.

[French volée, from Old French, from voler, to fly, from Latin volāre.]

volley·er n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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