Definition of plié in US English:



  • A movement in which a dancer bends the knees and straightens them again, usually with the feet turned out and heels firmly on the ground.

    • ‘One of the girls always did a funny little jump before releasing the ball, while I moved into arabesque on plié to gently let go.’
    • ‘Some tightening, of both punchlines and pliés, will do wonders.’
    • ‘Budding ballet stars who want to practise their pirouettes and pliés with dancing star Wayne Sleep will have the chance this Sunday.’
    • ‘She can come down out of a relevé while she's still turning, for a quiet deceleration, or descend into plié to start a new jump or traverse.’
    • ‘He stands in a wide plié, then shifts his weight to one knee.’
    • ‘A juicy plié will soften your landings and impel your take-off.’
    • ‘I still do pliés to keep the thighs firm and I can't resist doing the odd pirouette down the corridor when no one is looking.’


[no object]Ballet
  • Perform a plié.

    ‘Krishtof would raise me, then plié around me’
    • ‘He can pirouette and plié with the best of them but he needs professional help to dance his way to the top.’
    • ‘I step away and plié, then go up on tippy-toe as well as I can in these shoes and turn gracefully, extending my arms over my head.’
    • ‘Claiming to have understood that ‘dancing was going to be my life’ by the time she was a teenager, she can plié astoundingly well and has been performing with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal for the past three years.’
    • ‘On the first day I couldn't plié and my foot didn't stretch properly, but all I could do was pretend that I had never done ballet before in my life.’
    • ‘Rendered immobile just three days earlier, he can now almost walk without pain and gracefully pliés to pluck his coffee cup from the table, although he grimaces when posing for photographs.’


French, literally ‘bent’, past participle of plier (see also ply).