When an attacking army lets loose a barrage of bullets all at once, it’s called a volley.

A volley of bullets, arrows, or rocks describes a large number of them being shot or thrown simultaneously. Another meaning of the noun volley involves just one projectile: a returned tennis ball, usually one that hasn’t hit the ground before being smacked by a racket. The military meaning of volley has been around since the 1500’s, while the sports meaning didn’t arise until the late 1800’s. The root word is the Latin volare, “to fly.”

Definitions of volley
  1. noun

    rapid simultaneous discharge of firearms

    burst, fusillade, salvo
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    type of:

    fire, firing

    the act of firing weapons or artillery at an enemy

  2. verb

    discharge in, or as if in, a volley

    “the attackers
    volleyed gunshots at the civilians”
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    type of:


    pour forth or release

  3. verb

    be dispersed in a volley

    “gun shots
    volleyed at the attackers”
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    type of:

    disperse, dissipate, scatter, spread out

    move away from each other

  4. noun

    a tennis return made by hitting the ball before it bounces

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    ground stroke

    a tennis return made by hitting the ball after it has bounced once
    type of:


    a tennis stroke that sends the ball back to the other player

  5. verb

    make a volley

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    type of:


    participate in games or sport

  6. verb

    hit before it touches the ground

    volley the tennis ball”
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    type of:


    cause to move by striking

  7. verb

    utter rapidly

    volley a string of curses”
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    type of:

    emit, let loose, let out, utter

    express audibly; utter sounds (not necessarily words)

Word Family