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See also: pløy



  • IPA(key): /plɔɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪ

Etymology 1[edit]

Possibly from a shortened form of employ or deploy. Or from earlier ploye, from Middle English, borrowed from Middle French ployer (compare modern plier), from Latin plicāre.


ploy (countable and uncountable, plural ploys)

  1. A tactic, strategy, or scheme.
    The free T-shirt is really a ploy to get you inside to see their sales pitch.
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide:
      'Bide here,' he says, 'and boil the wine till I return. This is a ploy of my own on which no man follows me.' And there was that in his face, as he spoke, which chilled the wildest, and left them well content to keep to the good claret and the saft seat, and let the daft laird go his own ways.
    • 2013 June 22, “Engineers of a different kind”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 70:
      Private-equity nabobs bristle at being dubbed mere financiers. [] Much of their pleading is public-relations bluster. Clever financial ploys are what have made billionaires of the industry’s veterans. “Operational improvement” in a portfolio company has often meant little more than promising colossal bonuses to sitting chief executives if they meet ambitious growth targets. That model is still prevalent today.
  2. (UK, Scotland, dialect) Sport; frolic.
  3. (obsolete) Employment.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably abbreviated from deploy.


ploy (third-person singular simple present ploys, present participle ploying, simple past and past participle ployed)

  1. (military) To form a column from a line of troops on some designated subdivision.
    • 1881, Thomas Wilhelm, A Military Dictionary and Gazetteer:
      Troops drawn up so as to show an extended front, with slight depth, are said to be deployed; when the depth is considerable and the front comparatively small, they are said to be in ployed formation.


ploy”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.


Sranan Tongo[edit]



  1. To flex.
  2. To curve.