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ply 1 (plī)
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tr.v. plied (plīd), ply·ing, plies (plīz)
1. To join together, as by molding or twisting.
2. To double over (cloth, for example).
n. pl. plies (plīz)
1. A layer, as of doubled-over cloth or of paperboard.
2. One of the sheets of wood glued together to form plywood.
3. A layer of rubber-coated fabric, often of nylon or polyester cords, forming the body of an automobile tire.
4. One of the strands twisted together to make yarn, rope, or thread. Often used in combination: three-ply cord.
5. A bias; an inclination.

[Middle English plien, from Old French plier, alteration of pleier, from Latin plicāre, to fold; see plek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
ply 2 (plī)
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v. plied (plīd), ply·ing, plies (plīz)
v.tr.
1. To use diligently; wield: ply a knitting needle.
2. To engage in diligently; practice: plied the carpenter's trade. See Synonyms at handle.
3. To traverse or sail over regularly: Trading ships plied the routes between coastal ports.
4. To continue offering something to (someone); ensure that (someone) is abundantly served: plied their guests with excellent food.
5. To ask questions or make requests of (someone) insistently.
v.intr.
1. To traverse a route or course regularly: The boat plies between the islands on a weekly schedule.
2. To perform or work diligently or regularly: plied at the weaver's trade for 20 years.
3. Nautical To work against the wind by a zigzag course; tack.

[Middle English plien, from applien, to apply; see APPLY.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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