verb (used with object)

Military. to spread out (troops) so as to form an extended front or line.
to arrange in a position of readiness, or to move strategically or appropriately: to deploy a battery of new missiles.

verb (used without object)

to spread out strategically or in an extended front or line.
to come into a position ready for use: the plane can't land unless the landing gear deploys.

Origin of deploy

1470–80; < French déployer, equivalent to dé- dis-1 + ployer to fold; see ploy
Related formsde·ploy·a·ble, adjectivede·ploy·a·bil·i·ty, nounde·ploy·ment, nouncoun·ter·de·ploy·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for deploy

use, open, expand, extend, dispose, utilize, unfold, position, display, arrange

Examples from the Web for deploy

Contemporary Examples of deploy

Historical Examples of deploy

  • He was not only eager but ready to deploy them in a higher service.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte

    William Milligan Sloane

  • Five more of you dismount, and deploy there on the other side of the road.

    The Red Acorn

    John McElroy

  • They began to deploy into the woods overhanging Choke Gulch.

  • Perhaps they would attack the column before it could deploy.

    The River War

    Winston S. Churchill

  • The great object was now to push on and deploy as fast as possible.

    The River War

    Winston S. Churchill

British Dictionary definitions for deploy


verb mainly military

to adopt or cause to adopt a battle formation, esp from a narrow front formation
(tr) to redistribute (forces) to or within a given area
Derived Formsdeployment, noun

Word Origin for deploy

C18: from French déployer, from Latin displicāre to unfold; see display
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for deploy

1786 as a military word, from French déployer "unroll, unfold," from Old French desploiier "unfold," from Latin displicare "unfold, scatter," from dis- (see dis-) + plicare "to fold" see ply (v.1)). "In its AFr. form regularly adopted in ME as desplay" [OED]. Related: Deployed; deploying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper