- Law. pleading that alleges special or new matter in avoidance of the allegations made by the opposite side.
- pleading or arguing that ignores unfavorable features of a case.
Origin of special pleading
First recorded in 1675–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for special pleading
A special-pleading signification is given to this dogma by the Commentator: viz.Hindu Law and Judicature
In writing biography, special-pleading is not good; and I would fain avoid trying to make the Poet out any better than he was.
- a pleading that alleges new facts that offset those put forward by the other side rather than directly admitting or denying those facts
- a pleading that emphasizes the favourable aspects of a case while omitting the unfavourable