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[plee-ey] /pliˈeɪ/
noun, plural pliés
[plee-eyz; French plee-ey] /pliˈeɪz; French pliˈeɪ/ (Show IPA).
a movement in which the knees are bent while the back is held straight.
1890-95; < French, noun use of past participle of plier to bend; see ply2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for plié
  • Basic ballet positions and steps such as pointe, fl ex and plie will be taught.
British Dictionary definitions for plié


a classic ballet practice posture with back erect and knees bent
Word Origin
French: bent, from plier to bend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for plié



in ballet, 1892, from French plié, from plier literally "to bend," from Old French ploier (see ply (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for plié


(French: "bent"), knee bend in ballet. It is used in jumps and turns to provide spring, absorb shock, and as an exercise to loosen muscles and to develop balance. Performed in all of the five basic foot positions, plies may be shallow, so that the dancer's heels remain on the floor (demi-plie), or deep, so that in all foot positions except the second the heels rise (grand plie).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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