To deploy is to move into fighting formation, the way a military commander might deploy troops in preparation for a battle. You'll almost always find the word deploy in a military context.

The Latin plicāre means "fold." By adding dis- to it, to get displicāre, we get the idea of an "unfolding," or distributing. This is the basis of the word deploy, and it gives us a good mental image of the sending out, or "unfolding," of troops in a military plan. To deploy means more than just dispersing troops, however — there is usually a specific formation in mind, consistent with military strategies. And you can deploy nonmilitary assets, too, like accounting teams before an IRS audit.

Definitions of deploy

v place troops or weapons in battle formation

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put (a card or piece) into play during a game, or act strategically as if in a card game
lead (a card) and establish the trump suit
play a higher card than the one previously played
designate (a trump suit or no-trump) with the final bid of a hand
Type of:
cause to be in an appropriate place, state, or relation

v to distribute systematically or strategically

“The U.S. deploys its weapons in the Middle East”
deploy anew
Type of:
distribute, spread
distribute or disperse widely

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