a single ply of fabric
since taking a ply to French burgundies, he's hardly even looked at anything else in the wine store
Recent Examples on the Web
The suit, obtained by Rolling Stone, claims that the abuse began in 2005 when Combs allegedly began plying a then 19-year-old Ventura with alcohol and drugs.—Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 16 Nov. 2023 Every Thursday, 36-year-old Woodard leads a magnet fishing meetup somewhere along the sea walls of Baltimore harbor, where ships — freighters, cruise ships, tobacco ships, Baltimore clippers, even the Continental Navy — have been plying the waters and dropping junk overboard since 1670.—Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2023 As the music photographer for Levi’s when the brand was plying musicians with their wares, a chunk of the book is devoted to artists in unlikely scenarios including hanging out of windows.—Lily Moayeri, SPIN, 1 Nov. 2023 The idea is to produce a boat that looks wooden without the mountainous maintenance needs of one, particularly when plying a saltwater environment.—Kevin Koenig, Robb Report, 30 Oct. 2023 For years, the annual meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition has been a routine stop on the presidential primary trail, an opportunity for would-be presidents to demonstrate their foreign-policy credentials while plying donors with requisite one-liners.—Rebecca Davis O’Brien, New York Times, 26 Oct. 2023 These are all places where Hotez plies his profession.—Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2023 The white vans sometimes stopped at liquor stores on the way to Phoenix to ply people with alcohol.—Jack Healy, New York Times, 11 Nov. 2023 In a panic, Naheed ran to help, cradling her mother’s head in her arms and trying to ply her with water combined with sugar and salt to help her rehydrate.—Annie Gowen, Niko Kommenda and Saiyna Bashir, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Sep. 2023
There’s a ply problem — at least, Canadian filmmaker Michael Zelniker believes so.—Meredith Woerner, Variety, 31 Aug. 2023 The latter refers to the number of threads twisted together to form a piece of yarn; the higher the ply, the stronger the yarn.—Paula Lee, Glamour, 30 Aug. 2023 Cross-stitch instructions indicate how many plies of floss should be used to complete a project.—Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Aug. 2023 Getting around, by the way, is a breeze: Water taxis ply Lake Boca Raton, ferrying a handful of people at a time, on a regular schedule, between Harborside and Beachside.—Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, 25 July 2023 From there, several plies and belts of different rubbers — some embedded with polyester, nylon and steel — were laid on top and pressed together to build the body of the tire.—Michael Grabell, ProPublica, 3 May 2023 Lovette and Inoue fell into deep plies on pointe, inching across the stage like spiders.—Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar. 2023 Your Questions, Answered What is the best thread count for cotton sheets? Thread count refers to the number of threads, or plies, woven into the fabric of sheets in either direction.—Kathleen Felton, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Mar. 2023 To fix that, manufacturers developed three-ply or five-ply pans: stainless steel with a core of aluminum or copper.—Marni Jameson | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, 13 Oct. 2020 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ply.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English plien "to put on, around or over, use," aphetic form of aplien, applien "to join, combine, use for a certain purpose, apply"
borrowed from French pli "fold, pleat, crease," going back to Old French plei, pli "joint in armor, fold," noun derivative from pleier, plier "to fold, bend" — more at ply entry 3
Middle English plien "to bend, fold, be capable of bending, be flexible, make submissive, be submissive," borrowed from Anglo-French pleier, plaier, ploier, plier "to fold, bend, (intransitive) bend, bow down, sag" (also continental Old French), going back to Latin plicāre "to fold, bend," back-formation from -plicāre in compounds such as applicāre "to bring into contact (with)," complicāre "to fold together," explicāre "to free from folds, straighten," implicāre "to fold about itself, entwine," replicāre "to fold back on itself," formed from a stem *-plec-, probably a variant, without the formative -t-, of the stem of plectere "to plait, twine," going back to Indo-European *pleḱ-t-, whence also Germanic *flehtan- "to braid, plait" (whence Old Saxon & Old High German flehtan "to plait, weave together," Old Icelandic flétta; in nominal derivation Old English flehta "wickerwork," flohtenfōte "web-footed," Gothic flahta "braid"), Old Church Slavic pletǫ, plesti "to weave (intrigues)"; from *pleḱ- alone in Greek plékein "to plait, braid, weave," with nominal derivatives in Greek plokḗ "weaving," plókos "braid, lock," Sanskrit praśna- "turban" and perhaps Avestan ərəzatō.frašna- "having a golden helmet/coat of mail"
Latin plicāre developed regularly to Old French pleier, later ploier (Modern French ployer "to bend, bow"). The parallel medieval French verb plier (Modern French plier "to fold") arose by analogy with verbs such as prier "to ask," from Latin precārī, which had variants with -i- and -ei- depending on where stress fell on inflected forms, leading to generalization of one or the other form throughout the paradigm. In the case of pleier/ploier, the invasive form pli- first appeared under stress and later spread to unstressed forms. Older ploier was never displaced, however, and the maintenance of both forms lead to two independent verbs with slightly different senses. — In addition to forming the base of -plicāre in applicāre (see apply), complicāre (see complicate entry 2), explicāre (see explicate), implicāre (see implicate, imply), replicāre (see replicate entry 1, reply entry 1), the Latin stem *plec- may also be the second element of nominal compounds such as duplic-. duplex "folded double, having two parts" (see duplex entry 1), simplic-, simplex "consisting of one element" (see simple entry 1), etc. Ernout and Meillet (Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine) refer to -plicāre as an "intensive" ("un intensif") relative to plectere. Slavic *pletǫ (in the Old Church Slavic form cited above) must go back to *plek-t-, as the root with the palatovelar would result in an unattested *plestǫ. Alternatively, pletǫ could represent *ple-t- and be allied with Germanic *falþan- (see fold entry 1); this is the suggestion of Ernout and Meillet.