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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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


n. (alternative spelling of plié English)


n. (context ballet English) A smooth and continuous bending of the knees

Usage examples of "plie".

As he buys new white shoes for his last performance in the town, he encounters a former schoolmate from Russia, a bully who once regularly attached himself to Lik and now drags him to his squalid home, plies Lik with wine he should not drink, berates him for the gap between his own misery and the cushy life he thinks Lik leads.

Is not such a life much better than the squalid street and square Where the fallen women flaunt it in the fierce electric glare, Where the sempstress plies her sewing till her eyes are sore and red In a filthy, dirty attic toiling on for daily bread?

Nevertheless, in this passage Nabokov, with more force than anywhere else in the novel, narratively plies two perspectives.

It was still alive when it hit the ground, but Plies was astraddle it, pulling back the bony-plated head to cut the soft throat underneath.

There was no agreement, just excitement, and Plies finally brought them to order.

It was still alive when it hit the ground, but Plies was astraddle it, pulling back the bony‑plated head to cut the soft throat underneath.

He lay and listened as the debate went back and forth, Plies ordering it and keeping it going.

When we worked on plies they bent their knees so slightly you'd think they were little old ladies instead of eight-year-olds.

She told the kids to dance around using only plies and grand battements as the basis for their dance steps.

These plies give your tendons and all the inside leg muscles a good workout.

Nora and Jane tried to get away with their little old lady plies but Madame came along and gently, but firmly, put her hands on their shoulders and pushed down.

She seemed to forget about him altogether as she worked with the class on demi plies in fifth position.

And I must also remember to have additional sup plies sent up—just to be on the safe side.

For plied woolen and worsted yarn, the gauge is now figured on the plied weight, with the number of plies indicated also.