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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for entreating
Historical Examples
  • And though she followed him to the front door, entreating, he could not be stayed or hindered.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • Mr. Dunbar did not make any response to that entreating whisper.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • She gave him an entreating glance that silenced his rude attempt at gallantry.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • I lost no time in entreating him earnestly not to be absurd; to come in and shut the door.'

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
  • In his ears there still lingered the sound of entreating whisper.

    Almayer's Folly Joseph Conrad
  • One of my friends sent a letter, entreating me to reconsider my determination.

    A Fair Penitent Wilkie Collins
  • Jeanne clung to her father and glanced up with entreating eyes.

    A Little Girl in Old Detroit

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

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • She's been entreating the captain to let her go ashore for vespers.

  • He seemed to be entreating the Unseen in his clamour of wild, hopeless appeal.

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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