Definition of ply verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    ply

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//plaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//plaɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they ply
    BrE BrE//plaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//plaɪ//
     
    he / she / it plies
    BrE BrE//plaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//plaɪz//
     
    past simple plied
    BrE BrE//plaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//plaɪd//
     
    past participle plied
    BrE BrE//plaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//plaɪd//
     
    -ing form plying
    BrE BrE//ˈplaɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈplaɪɪŋ//
     
    Train and bus travel
     
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] (literary or Indian English) (of ships, buses, etc.) to travel regularly along a particular route or between two particular places + adv./prep. Ferries ply across a narrow strait to the island. The train plies twice a day between Paris and Madrid. Buses ply regularly to and from these places. ply something canals plied by gondolas and steam boats ships plying the route between Tripoli and Malta See related entries: Train and bus travel
  2. 2[transitive] ply something (formal) to use a tool, especially in a skilful way The tailor delicately plied his needle.
  3. Word Originverb late Middle English: shortening of apply.Idioms
    ply for hire/trade/business
     
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    (British English) to look for customers, passengers, etc. in order to do business taxis plying for hire outside the theatre
    to do your work or business This is the restaurant where he plied his trade as a cook. Drug dealers openly plied their trade in front of children.
    Phrasal Verbsply somebody with something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ply