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Related to plies: piles
ply (one's) trade
To go about one's normal business or employment. Despite the dominance of big supermarket chains, local vendors still ply their trade along the pedestrian area as they have done for decades.
ply (someone) with (something)
To give someone something in large quantities, typically to receive some benefit in return. We plied Tom with alcohol to get him to reveal the dark secrets of his business.
ply between (something and something else)
to travel between things or places regularly or constantly. There are a number of small craft that ply between Santerem and Manaus on a regular basis. Our little ship was unable to ply the entire distance between the two islands.
ply (someone with something else)
to try to supply or give something to someone. (Implies an attempt to influence or fawn upon someone.) We plied the mayor with gifts and favors, but it got us nowhere. Don't try to ply the police officer with gifts. That is considered a bribe.
ply for ˈhire/ˈtrade/ˈbusiness(British English) look for customers, passengers, etc. in order to do business: There are plenty of taxis plying for hire outside the theatre.
ply your ˈtrade(written) do your work or business: This is the restaurant where he plied his trade as a cook.
To give someone substantial amounts of something, such as drinks or other favors, especially to encourage cooperation or to manipulate: She plied the spy with wine, hoping that he would reveal his true identity.