- an appeal or entreaty: a plea for mercy.
- something that is alleged, urged, or pleaded in defense or justification.
- an excuse; pretext: He begged off on the plea that his car wasn't working.
- an allegation made by, or on behalf of, a party to a legal suit, in support of his or her claim or defense.
- a defendant's answer to a legal declaration or charge.
- (in courts of equity) a plea that admits the truth of the declaration, but alleges special or new matter in avoidance.
- Obsolete.a suit or action.
- cop a plea, Slang. cop1(def 5b).
Origin of plea
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for plea
He later accepted a plea deal that put him behind bars for 25 years.
Schettino also tried to enter a plea bargain agreement, which ultimately was rejected by the Grosseto court.The Costa Concordia’s Randy Reckless Captain Takes the Stand
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 2, 2014
The mother also made a plea to the violent ones who wreak such havoc.11 Children Shot in Milwaukee, One in Her Grandpa's Lap
November 12, 2014
Instead, Kolko received a plea deal that allowed him to plea guilty to child endangerment.
He plead guilty in a plea deal and was punished only with five years of probation.
Life shelves them on the plea that they are old; but that is not the reason.The Conquest of Fear
Truly then his plea of exhaustion would not be without excuse!The Dramatic Values in Plautus
Wilton Wallace Blancke
Burke, however, shook his head in remonstrance against Gilder's plea.
The plea touched to the bottom of her heart, but she could not, would not yield.
Again, Garson shook his head in absolute refusal of her plea.
- an earnest entreaty or requesta plea for help
- lawsomething alleged or pleaded by or on behalf of a party to legal proceedings in support of his claim or defence
- criminal lawthe answer made by an accused to the chargea plea of guilty
- (in Scotland and formerly in England) a suit or action at law
- an excuse, justification, or pretexthe gave the plea of a previous engagement
Word Origin and History for plea
early 13c., "lawsuit," from Anglo-French plai (late 12c.), Old French plait "lawsuit, decision, decree" (9c.), from Medieval Latin placitum "lawsuit," in classical Latin, "opinion, decree," literally "that which pleases, thing which is agreed upon," properly neuter past participle of placere (see please). Sense development seems to be from "something pleasant," to "something that pleases both sides," to "something that has been decided." Meaning "a pleading, an agreement in a suit" is attested from late 14c. Plea-bargaining is first attested 1963. Common pleas (early 13c.) originally were legal proceedings over which the Crown did not claim exclusive jurisdiction (as distinct from pleas of the Crown); later "actions brought by one subject against another."
Idioms and Phrases with plea
see cop a plea.