• synonyms


verb (used with object)
  1. to ask (a person) earnestly; beseech; implore; beg: to entreat the judge for mercy.
  2. to ask earnestly for (something): He entreated help in his work.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make an earnest request or petition.
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Origin of entreat

1300–50; Middle English entreten < Middle French entrait(i)er. See en-1, treat
Related formsen·treat·ing·ly, adverben·treat·ment, nounnon·en·treat·ing, adjectivenon·en·treat·ing·ly, adverbun·en·treat·ed, adjectiveun·en·treat·ing, adjective


Synonym study

1. See appeal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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

British Dictionary definitions for entreating



  1. to ask (a person) earnestly; beg or plead with; implore
  2. to make an earnest request or petition for (something)
  3. an archaic word for treat (def. 4)
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Derived Formsentreatingly or intreatingly, adverbentreatment or 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper