What does the word ply mean?

Usage examples for ply

  1. As soon as he had rested sufficiently, he would ply the cow- hide again, thus he would continue until the whole back of the poor victim was lacerated into one uniform coat of blood. – The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus by American Anti-Slavery Society
  2. He had for some time ceased to ply his needle. – The History of Little Peter, the Ship Boy by W.H.G. Kingston