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[en-treet] /ɛnˈtrit/
verb (used with object)
to ask (a person) earnestly; beseech; implore; beg:
to entreat the judge for mercy.
to ask earnestly for (something):
He entreated help in his work.
verb (used without object)
to make an earnest request or petition.
Origin of entreat
1300-50; Middle English entreten < Middle French entrait(i)er. See en-1, treat
Related forms
entreatingly, adverb
entreatment, noun
nonentreating, adjective
nonentreatingly, adverb
unentreated, adjective
unentreating, adjective
1. pray, importune, sue, solicit.
Synonym Study
1. See appeal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for entreating
Historical Examples
  • Then the king sent messengers to certain of the princes of Greece, entreating that they would help in this matter.

  • So far from entreating him to remain with her, she had bidden him go where his duty led him.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • The minister finished his sermon by entreating them all that very night to come to the fountain.

    Christie's Old Organ Mrs. O. F. Walton
  • She's been entreating the captain to let her go ashore for vespers.

  • A dozen suitors came in order, bowing low, entreating her not to reject their plea.

  • A letter from a despairing mother, entreating us to find her lost son.

    The New Tenant E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • No tidings were received of him, till a messenger arrived, entreating my assistance.

    Arthur Mervyn Charles Brockden Brown
  • As you entered, he was entreating me to fly with him; both his life and his honor were in my hands.

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
  • I interfered in the matter, entreating the bishop to remove this heavy anathema, but without success.

    Dona Perfecta B. Perez Galdos
  • Outside, Stephen was entreating to be allowed to visit her the next morning.

British Dictionary definitions for entreating


to ask (a person) earnestly; beg or plead with; implore
to make an earnest request or petition for (something)
an archaic word for treat (sense 4)
Derived Forms
entreatingly, intreatingly, adverb
entreatment, intreatment, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French entraiter, from en-1 + traiter to treat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for entreating



mid-14c., "to enter into negotiations;" early 15c., "to treat (someone) in a certain way," also "to plead for (someone)," from Anglo-French entretier, Old French entraiter "to treat," from en- "make" (see en- (1)) + traiter "to treat" (see treat (v.)). Meaning "to beseech, implore" is first attested c.1500. Related: Entreated; entreating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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