January 21, 2012
deploy (verb)
\dih-PLOY\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to spread out or place in position for some purpose
How do you use it?
The army battalion was deployed to help secure the city.
Are you a word wiz?

"Deploy" has a few linguistic cousins. Which words below are related to "deploy"?

The correct answer is positioned at C. "Deploy" comes from the French word "deployer," which means literally "to unfold." This French word traces back to the prefix "des-," meaning "do the opposite of," and the verb "ploier, plier," meaning "to fold." You can see how "deploy" derives from "plier," since spreading something out for a purpose is like unfolding it. The idea of folding is behind other English words that also come from French "plier." One example is "plie," which refers to a ballet move where the dancer bends (or folds) his or her knees. Another is "pliable," which means "easily bent or changed."
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