\ ˈplȯi How to pronounce ploy (audio) \

Definition of ploy

2a : a tactic intended to embarrass or frustrate an opponent
b : a devised or contrived move : stratagem a ploy to get her to open the door— Robert B. Parker

Examples of ploy in a Sentence

Her story about being sick is only a ploy to get you to give her money. asking me to take her shopping turned out to be a ploy to get me to the surprise party
Recent Examples on the Web Ultimately, the ploy is a subset of the more mundane phone scam, whose victims number in the millions. Tatiana Siegel, Rolling Stone, 5 Aug. 2022 There is also a fiendishness that can lurk within the hot potato ploy too. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 Three people were federally convicted for their role in the ploy. Orlando Sentinel, 27 July 2022 The ploy enabled her to avoid prison for an extra six months. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 July 2022 But some analysts have criticized the move as a ploy to drum up investor interest and capitalize on current trends. - Powering A Personal Wealth Movement, Forbes, 19 July 2022 Tracy Wimmer, a Benson spokeswoman, blasted the request as a clearly partisan ploy. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 17 June 2022 Many Republicans have tried to frame the Jan. 6 committee’s hearings, now in their second week, as a ploy dreamed up by Democrats to distract voters from the country’s many problems under President Biden, from rising gas prices to supply-chain woes. Erika D. Smith, Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2022 Republicans immediately blasted Lamont’s ideas as an election-year ploy. Christopher Keating,, 7 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ploy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ploy

1697, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ploy

probably from employ

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ploy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for ploy


\ ˈplȯi How to pronounce ploy (audio) \
plural ploys

Kids Definition of ploy

: a trick used to make someone do something or get an advantage

More from Merriam-Webster on ploy

Nglish: Translation of ploy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ploy for Arabic Speakers


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