\ 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

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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 Because interior line play is so draining physically on the body, a lot of teams carry more linemen than other positions, a ploy former general manager Ozzie Newsome inherited from New England coach Bill Belichick. Mike Preston,, 3 June 2021 The stunt casting looked like a desperate ploy for attention from an exhausted show, since these days billionaires are even less popular than SNL. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 9 May 2021 The Biden Administration then realized that its ploy failed. John Masslon, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 Our minders appeared anxious and upset that their ploy had backfired. Clarissa Ward, CNN, 9 Apr. 2021 And, Terry, Republicans, as Jon mentioned, are calling it a real partisan ploy. ABC News, 30 May 2021 That cynical ploy has been allowed to fester by Western indulgence. WSJ, 28 May 2021 Early in the war, the IDF deceptively gave the impression of an imminent ground invasion as a ploy to compel Hamas fighters to mobilize via the tunnels which were then targeted for attack. Sebastien Roblin, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Members of the Republican Attorneys General Association use a similar ploy. David Armiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 May 2021

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.

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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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Learn More about ploy

Statistics for ploy

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ploy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for ploy



English Language Learners Definition of ploy

: a clever trick or plan that is used to get someone to do something or to gain an advantage over someone


\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ploy

Nglish: Translation of ploy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ploy for Arabic Speakers


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