a maneuver or stratagem, as in conversation, to gain the advantage.
verb (used with object)
Military Archaic. to move (troops) from a line into a column. Compare deploy.
verb (used without object)
Military Archaic. to move from a line into a column.

1475–85; earlier ploye to bend < Middle French ployer (French plier) < Latin plicāre to fold, ply2; see deploy

counterploy, noun

1. tactic, ruse, subterfuge, wile, gambit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ploy (plɔɪ)
1.  a manoeuvre or tactic in a game, conversation, etc; stratagem; gambit
2.  any business, job, hobby, etc, with which one is occupied: angling is his latest ploy
3.  chiefly (Brit) a frolic, escapade, or practical joke
[C18: originally Scot and northern English, perhaps from obsolete n sense of employ meaning an occupation]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1722, "anything with which one amuses oneself," Scottish and northern England dialect, possibly a shortened form of employ or deploy. Popularized in the sense "move or gambit made to gain advantage" by British humorist Stephen Potter (1900-1969).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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