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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Dutch pleyt (flat)


pleyt (plural pleyts)

  1. (nautical, dated) A riverboat.
    • 1954, Nelly Johanna Martina Kerling, Commercial Relations of Holland and Zeeland with England from the Late 13th Century to the Close of the Middle Ages:
      In the second group a variety of ships may be placed: a boeyer, a pleyt, a krayer, an ever, a cogge, a bark, a hulk, and from the middle of the 15th century onwards a carvel.
    • 2011, Money and Beauty[1], Giunti Editore, →ISBN, page 186:
      The model on display belongs to the family of the "pleyt" or "pleitscip"."


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for pleyt in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from Russian плеть (pletʹ, whip, lash).


pleyt (plural pleyts)

  1. (historical) A whip, as an instrument of punishment or torture in Russia.
    • 1896, Edward Arthur Brayley Hodgetts, Round about Armenia: The Record of a Journey Across the Balkans Through Turkey, the Caucasus, and Persia in 1895:
      In Russia, the pleyt is a terrible form of punishment, which is still, I believe, administered in rare instances in Siberia. It is not ten years ago that a woman was flogged to death in Siberia.
    • 1908, Edward Arthur Brayley Hodgetts, The Court of Russia in the Nineteenth Century, volume 1, page 138:
      In 1836, near the town of Krasnophinsk, in the province of Perm, a man, about sixty years of age, was arrested as a vagrant. He received twenty blows with the pleyt or knout, and was sent to Siberia.
    • 1914, Edward Arthur Brayley Hodgetts, The Life of Catherine the Great of Russia:
      The lady was publicly knouted (flogged with an instrument of torture called a pleyt), had her tongue cut out, flung, a piece of quivering and bleeding flesh, on a cart, and banished to Siberia.