- to work with or at diligently; employ busily; use: to ply the needle.
- to carry on, practice, or pursue busily or steadily: to ply a trade.
- to treat with or apply to (something) repeatedly (often followed by with): to ply a fire with fresh fuel.
- to assail persistently: to ply horses with a whip.
- to supply with or offer something pressingly to: to ply a person with drink.
- to address (someone) persistently or importunately, as with questions, solicitations, etc.; importune.
- to pass over or along (a river, stream, etc.) steadily or on a regular basis: boats that ply the Mississippi.
- to run or travel regularly over a fixed course or between certain places, as a boat, bus, etc.
- to perform one's work or office busily or steadily: to ply with the oars; to ply at a trade.
Origin of ply1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- British Dialect. to bend, fold, or mold.
- Obsolete. to bend, incline, or yield.
Origin of ply2
Examples from the Web for plied
And more so because I plied the same trade as Llewyn Davis for a while.Interview: T Bone Burnett, the Coen Brothers’ Music Guru
December 13, 2013
There he plied his tasks so diligently that he excelled all in book-learning.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
Again she plied her task, as if unconscious of his presence.
She set her wits to the discovery and plied her father with another question.The Tavern Knight
And stronger wings than these are plied in the cherry tree's service.
Surrounding the Indian they plied him with a hundred questions.The Trail of a Sourdough
May Kellogg Sullivan
- to carry on, pursue, or work at (a job, trade, etc)
- to manipulate or wield (a tool)
- to sell (goods, wares, etc), esp at a regular place
- (usually foll by with) to provide (with) or subject (to) repeatedly or persistentlyhe plied us with drink the whole evening; to ply a horse with a whip; he plied the speaker with questions
- (intr) to perform or work steadily or diligentlyto ply with a spade
- (also intr) (esp of a ship) to travel regularly along (a route) or in (an area)to ply between Dover and Calais; to ply the trade routes
- a layer, fold, or thickness, as of cloth, wood, yarn, etc
- (in combination)four-ply
- a thin sheet of wood glued to other similar sheets to form plywood
- one of the strands twisted together to make rope, yarn, etc
- to twist together (two or more single strands) to make yarn
Word Origin and History for plied
"work with, use," late 14c., shortened form of applien "join to, apply" (see apply). The core of this is Latin plicare "to lay, fold, twist," from PIE root *plek- "to plait, twist" (cf. Greek plekein "to plait, twine," plektos "twisted;" Latin plectere (past participle plexus) "to plait, braid, intertwine;" Old Church Slavonic plesti "to braid, plait, twist;" Gothic flahta "braid;" Old English fleax "cloth made with flax, linen").
Sense of "travel regularly" is first 1803, perhaps from earlier sense "steer a course" (1550s). Related: Plied; plies; plying.
"to bend," late 14c., plien, from Old French plier, earlier pleier "to fold, bend," from Latin plicare "to lay, fold, twist" (see ply (v.1)). Related: Plied; plies; plying.