- a maneuver or stratagem, as in conversation, to gain the advantage.
- Military Archaic. to move (troops) from a line into a column.Compare deploy.
- Military Archaic. to move from a line into a column.
Origin of ploy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ploy
Is this just a ploy by the Islamic State—or the beginning of the road to retaking Mosul?Iraqi Kurds Get Their Groove Back, End Siege of Mount Sinjar
December 20, 2014
The head of the prison says Figueroa fabricated the story as a ploy to get the Dutchman transferred.Did Joran Van Der Sloot Fake His Prison Shanking?
Andrea Zarate, Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 5, 2014
Do they really not look around them when they hit the shutter, or is it all part of a ploy to attract more attention?Selfie Hall of Shame: Is Anywhere Safe From Sick Snaps?
October 11, 2014
Some of the length and intensity of the services was a ploy to keep out the religious tourists.A Jewish Ex-Con Recalls Keeping Kosher with the Faithful in Prison
May 11, 2014
Salah claimed the central security force was behind the attack as a ploy to discredit the student protests.Iraq’s Biggest Killer Hits Cairo
April 3, 2014
There is a misprint of 'employ' in Thomas Davies' edition, as before.
If I was a stone or two lighter, and had one to look after the shop, it's off on this ploy I would be too.
He put the question roughly, for nobody likes to lose a ploy.
There were more again who could never bear to be absent from any ploy: Pepa Frias, Lola, and a few more.Froth
Armando Palacio Valds
The night before they touched at Naples Marcella and Louis arranged what she called a "ploy."Captivity</p>
M. Leonora Eyles
- a manoeuvre or tactic in a game, conversation, etc; stratagem; gambit
- any business, job, hobby, etc, with which one is occupiedangling is his latest ploy
- mainly British a frolic, escapade, or practical joke
Word Origin and History for ploy
1722, "anything with which one amuses oneself," Scottish and northern England dialect, possibly a shortened form of employ or deploy. Popularized in the sense "move or gambit made to gain advantage" by British humorist Stephen Potter (1900-1969).