verb (used without object)

to engage in plea bargaining.

verb (used with object)

to deal with or achieve by plea bargaining: to plea-bargain a reduced sentence.


the agreement arrived at as a result of plea bargaining.

Origin of plea-bargain

First recorded in 1965–70
Related formsplea-bar·gain·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

plea bargain in Culture

plea bargain

An agreement that permits a defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge instead of pleading not guilty to a more serious one. Plea bargaining is usually undertaken by a prosecutor to obtain important information from a defendant or to avoid a long and costly trial.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.