Sortie is a term for deployment or dispatch of one military unit, be it an aircraft, ship, or troops from a strongpoint. The sortie, whether by one or more aircraft or vessels, usually has a specific mission.

The term has been adopted from the French past participle 3rd group verb, verbs ending in -ir, with the gerund ending in -ant, "sortir", "to leave" or "to go out" with a specific purpose.


Siege warfare

In siege warfare, a sortie, or sudden issuing of troops against the enemy from a defensive position, can be launched against the besiegers by the defenders. If the sortie is through a sally port, either to sortie or to sally can be used.

Military aviation

In military aviation, it is used to indicate the total usages of individual machines, so that (for example) one mission involving six aircraft would tally six sorties.

The use of the term for military aircraft originated in naval usage. In French, sortie literally means "exit". It has come to mean a combat mission, starting when the aircraft takes off and ending on its return.

Naval evacuations

In naval terms it can also be used to describe a full-scale evacuation of a fleet of ships, their accompanying aircraft and submarines from a posting in advance to avoid a natural disaster such as a hurricane[1].


In spaceflight, especially for NASA's Constellation Program, the term sortie has been used for a flight of the Orion spacecraft beyond the confluence of low-Earth orbit, such as a flight to the Moon or to the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange Point. This term was not used by NASA for the nine Apollo flights that flew by, orbited, or landed on the Moon between 1968 and 1972.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • sortie — [ sɔrti ] n. f. • 1400; de 1. sortir I ♦ Action de sortir. A ♦ 1 ♦ Action de quitter un lieu, moment où des personnes sortent. Depuis ma sortie du pays. ⇒ 1. départ. La sortie des élèves. À la sortie des théâtres, lorsque les spectateurs sortent …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • sortie — Sortie. s. f. v. Action de sortir. Il a gardé tousjours la chambre, voilà sa premiere sortie. depuis sa sortie hors du Royaume. l entrée & la sortie des marchandises. droits d entrée & de sortie. la sortie de l argent hors du Royaume est… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Sortie 67 — Données clés Titre québécois Sortie 67 Titre original Sortie 67 Réalisation Jephté Bastien Acteurs principaux Henri Pardo, Benz Antoine, Alain Lino Mic Eli Bastien, Edouard Fontaine Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sortie Tv — Le terme de sortie TV désigne un périphérique informatique permettant l affichage du contenu de l ordinateur sur un écran de télévision. Portail de l’informatique Ce document provient de « Sortie Tv ». Catégorie : Périphériqu …   Wikipédia en Français

  • sortie — (n.) attack of the besieged upon the besiegers, 1778, from Fr. sortie, lit. a going out, noun use of fem. pp. of sortir go out, from V.L. *surctire, from pp. of L. surgere rise up (see SURGE (Cf. surge)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • sortie — ► NOUN 1) an attack by troops coming out from a position of defence. 2) an operational flight by a single military aircraft. 3) a short trip. ► VERB (sorties, sortied, sortieing) ▪ make a sortie …   English terms dictionary

  • Sortie — Sor tie (?; 277), n. [F., fr. sortir to go out, to issue, probably fr. L. sortus, for surrectus, p. p. of surgere to raise up, to rise up. See {Source}.] (Mil.) The sudden issuing of a body of troops, usually small, from a besieged place to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sortie — (fr.), 1) der Ausgang, die Ausfahrt; 2) der Ausfall, die Ausfallsthüre …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Sortie — (franz., spr. ßortī ), Aus , Weggang; Ausfall (vgl. Ausfalltor und Friedenstor). S. de bal, leichter Damenumhang …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sortie — Sortīe (frz.), Ausgang, fahrt; Ausfall, Ausfallstor …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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