ply1 [plaı] v past tense and past participle plied present participle plying third person singular plies
[Date: 1300-1400; Origin: apply]
1.) ply your trade
literary to work at your business, especially buying and selling things on the street
In some areas, drug dealers openly ply their trade on street corners.
2.) [I,T always + adverb/preposition] written
if a ship, bus etc plies between two places or across a place, it does that journey regularly
ply between/across etc
Two ferries ply between Tripoli and Malta every day.
3.) ply for hire/trade
BrE to try and get customers or passengers, in order to do business
Continental airlines ply for trade in the UK.
4.) [T] old use or literary to use a tool skilfully
ply with [ply sb with sth] phr v
1.) to keep giving someone large quantities of food or drink
The local people plied me with beer, until I could barely move.
2.) ply sb with questions
to keep asking someone questions
ply 2
ply2 plural ply
[Date: 1500-1600; : French; Origin: pli, from Old French plier; PLIERS]
a unit for measuring the thickness of thread, rope, plywood etc, based on the number of threads or layers that it has
a sweater in 4-ply yarn

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • ply — [plaɪ] verb plied PTandPP JOURNALISM 1. [transitive] to sell something: • 60 retailers were plying their products on the radio. 2. ply your trade to work at your job or business: • two outdoor …   Financial and business terms

  • Ply — Ply, n. [Cf. F. pli, fr. plier. See {Ply}, v.] 1. A fold; a plait; a turn or twist, as of a cord. Arbuthnot. [1913 Webster] 2. Bent; turn; direction; bias. [1913 Webster] The late learners can not so well take the ply. Bacon. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ply — Ply, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Plied}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Plying}.] [OE. plien, F. plier to fold, to bend, fr. L. plicare; akin to Gr. ?, G. flechten. Cf. {Apply}, {Complex}, {Display}, {Duplicity}, {Employ}, {Exploit}, {Implicate}, {Plait}, {Pliant},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ply — Ⅰ. ply [1] ► NOUN (pl. plies) 1) a thickness or layer of a folded or laminated material. 2) each of a number of multiple layers or strands of which something is made. ORIGIN French pli fold , from Latin plicare to fold . Ⅱ. pl …   English terms dictionary

  • Ply — Ply, v. i. 1. To bend; to yield. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] It would rather burst atwo than plye. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] The willow plied, and gave way to the gust. L Estrange. [1913 Webster] 2. To act, go, or work diligently and steadily; especially …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ply — A term often used to express the number of strands used to form a composite yarn, such as 2 ply, 3 ply means two threads and three threads doubled together. When used for cloth it means the number of layers used …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • ply — ply1 [plī] vt. plied, plying [ME plien < OFr plier < L plicare, to fold < IE base * plek , to entwine > FLAX] Now Rare to bend, twist, fold, or mold vi. Obs. to bend or submit n. pl. plies [MFr pli < the v.] 1 …   English World dictionary

  • ply|er — «PLY uhr», noun. = plier. (Cf. ↑plier) …   Useful english dictionary

  • ply — I verb busy oneself with, carry on, devote oneself to, do work with, employ, engage in, exercere, exercise, exploit, handle, make use of, manipulate, occupy oneself with, operate, persevere at, practice, pursue, put in practice, put into effect,… …   Law dictionary

  • ply — vb *handle, manipulate, wield, swing Analogous words: exercise, *practice, drill: operate, work, function (see ACT vb): manage, direct, control, *conduct …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • ply — [v] use, work at carry on, dispense, employ, exercise, exert, follow, function, handle, maneuver, manipulate, practice, pursue, put out, swing, throw, utilize, wield; concepts 100,225 Ant. be lazy, idle …   New thesaurus

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