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plié

[plee-ey] /pliˈeɪ/
noun, plural pliés
[plee-eyz; French plee-ey] /pliˈeɪz; French pliˈeɪ/ (Show IPA).
Ballet.
1.
a movement in which the knees are bent while the back is held straight.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95; < French, noun use of past participle of plier to bend; see ply2

ply2

[plahy] /plaɪ/
noun, plural plies.
1.
a thickness or layer.
2.
Automotive. a layer of reinforcing fabric for a tire.
3.
a unit of yarn:
single ply.
4.
one of the sheets of veneer that are glued together to make plywood.
5.
Informal. plywood.
6.
bent, bias, or inclination.
verb (used with object), plied, plying.
7.
British Dialect. to bend, fold, or mold.
verb (used without object), plied, plying.
8.
Obsolete. to bend, incline, or yield.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English plien (v.) < Middle French plier to fold, bend, variant of ployer, Old French pleier < Latin plicāre to fold; see fold1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for plies'

plié

/ˈpliːeɪ/
noun
1.
a classic ballet practice posture with back erect and knees bent
Word Origin
French: bent, from plier to bend

ply1

/plaɪ/
verb (mainly transitive) plies, plying, plied
1.
to carry on, pursue, or work at (a job, trade, etc)
2.
to manipulate or wield (a tool)
3.
to sell (goods, wares, etc), esp at a regular place
4.
(usually foll by with) to provide (with) or subject (to) repeatedly or persistently: he plied us with drink the whole evening, to ply a horse with a whip, he plied the speaker with questions
5.
(intransitive) to perform or work steadily or diligently: to ply with a spade
6.
(also intransitive) (esp of a ship) to travel regularly along (a route) or in (an area): to ply between Dover and Calais, to ply the trade routes
Word Origin
C14 plye, short for aplye to apply

ply2

/plaɪ/
noun (pl) plies
1.
  1. a layer, fold, or thickness, as of cloth, wood, yarn, etc
  2. (in combination): four-ply
2.
a thin sheet of wood glued to other similar sheets to form plywood
3.
one of the strands twisted together to make rope, yarn, etc
verb (transitive)
4.
to twist together (two or more single strands) to make yarn
Word Origin
C15: from Old French pli fold, from plier to fold, from Latin plicāre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for plies'

plie

n.

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

ply

v.

"work with, use," late 14c., shortened form of applien "join to, apply" (see apply). The core of this is Latin plicare "to lay, fold, twist," from PIE root *plek- "to plait, twist" (cf. Greek plekein "to plait, twine," plektos "twisted;" Latin plectere (past participle plexus) "to plait, braid, intertwine;" Old Church Slavonic plesti "to braid, plait, twist;" Gothic flahta "braid;" Old English fleax "cloth made with flax, linen").

Sense of "travel regularly" is first 1803, perhaps from earlier sense "steer a course" (1550s). Related: Plied; plies; plying.

"to bend," late 14c., plien, from Old French plier, earlier pleier "to fold, bend," from Latin plicare "to lay, fold, twist" (see ply (v.1)). Related: Plied; plies; plying.

n.

"a layer, a fold" 1530s, from Middle French pli "a fold" (13c.), alteration of Old French ploi "fold, pleat, layer" (12c.), verbal noun from ployer (later pleier) "to bend, to fold," from Latin plicare "to fold, lay" see ply (v.1)). This is the ply in plywood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for plies'

plie

(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).

Learn more about plie with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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