plea

[ plee ]
/ pli /

noun

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.
Law.
  1. an allegation made by, or on behalf of, a party to a legal suit, in support of his or her claim or defense.
  2. a defendant's answer to a legal declaration or charge.
  3. (in courts of equity) a plea that admits the truth of the declaration, but alleges special or new matter in avoidance.
  4. Obsolete. a suit or action.

Idioms

    cop a plea, Slang. cop1(def 5b).

Origin of plea

1175–1225; Middle English ple, earlier plaid < Old French < early Medieval Latin placitum law-court, suit, decision, decree, Latin: opinion (literally, that which is pleasing or agreeable), noun use of neuter of past participle of placēre to please

Can be confused

pleas please
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plea

British Dictionary definitions for plea

plea

/ (pliː) /

noun

an earnest entreaty or requesta plea for help
  1. law something alleged or pleaded by or on behalf of a party to legal proceedings in support of his claim or defence
  2. criminal law the answer made by an accused to the chargea plea of guilty
  3. (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 for plea

C13: from Anglo-Norman plai, from Old French plaid lawsuit, from Medieval Latin placitum court order (literally: what is pleasing), from Latin placēre to please
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

Idioms and Phrases with plea

plea


see cop a plea.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.