Definition of ploy in English:


Syllabification: ploy
Pronunciation: /ploi


A cunning plan or action designed to turn a situation to one’s own advantage: the president has dismissed the referendum as a ploy to buy time
More example sentences
  • It's a clever ploy and takes advantage of the natural courtesy of the public.
  • My opponent became increasingly frustrated by my beginner's luck and masterminded a cunning ploy to level the scores.
  • If you can get beyond the fact that there's all sorts of contrived controversy thrown into the TV show, and deliberate ploys to create situations that will boost ratings, the level of talent is really pretty amazing.


late 17th century (originally Scots and northern English in the senses 'pastime', 'escapade', and 'a trick'): of unknown origin. The notion of 'a calculated plan' dates from the 1950s.

Definition of ploy in: