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English definition of “ply”

ply

verb uk   /plaɪ/ us  

ply verb (WORK)

[T] to sell or to work regularly at something, especially a job involving selling things: Fishermen in small boats ply their trade up and down the coast. Dealers are openly plying drugs in school playgrounds. The market traders were loudly plying their wares. ply for business, trade, etc. to try to get customers for your business in a public place, for example, as a taxi driver, by driving around or waiting in a regular place: UK There are never any taxis plying for trade/hire in our area. I noticed a couple of prostitutes plying for business on the corner.

ply verb (TRAVEL)

[I + adv/prep, T] old-fashioned When a boat, train, bus, etc. plies a particular route, it makes that journey regularly: High-speed trains regularly ply between Paris and Lyons. This airline has been plying the transatlantic route for many years.
Phrasal verbs

ply

noun [U] uk   /plaɪ/ us  
the particular number of threads from which wool, rope, etc. is made, used as a measure of its thickness: six balls of four-ply (wool) What ply do you need for that knitting pattern? the particular number of layers from which plywood or tissue is formed, used as a measure of its thickness: Will three-ply (= wood made from three layers stuck together) be strong enough for making a shelf?
(Definition of ply from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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