[ pleed ]
/ plid /
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See synonyms for: plead / pleaded / pleading on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), plead·ed or pled [pled], /plɛd/, plead·ing.
to appeal or entreat earnestly: to plead for time.
to use arguments or persuasions, as with a person, for or against something: She pleaded with him not to take the job.
to afford an argument or appeal: His youth pleads for him.
  1. to make any allegation or plea in an action at law.
  2. to put forward an answer on the part of a defendant to a legal declaration or charge.
  3. to address a court as an advocate.
  4. Obsolete. to prosecute a suit or action at law.
verb (used with object), plead·ed or pled [pled], /plɛd/, plead·ing.
to allege or urge in defense, justification, or excuse: to plead ignorance.
  1. to maintain (a cause) by argument before a court.
  2. to allege or set forth (something) formally in an action at law.
  3. to allege or cite in legal defense: to plead a statute of limitations.
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Origin of plead

First recordd in 1200–50; Middle English plaiden, from<Old French plaid(i)er “to go to law, plead,” from early Medieval Latin placitāre “to litigate,” derivative of Latin placitum “opinion, agreed condition.” See plea


re·plead, verb, re·plead·ed, re·plead·ing.un·plead·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does plead mean?

Plead means to beg or passionately try to persuade someone to do something.

It’s similar to the word beg, which often means to request again and again. Plead can mean the same thing, but it’s especially used to imply that the request is passionate and that the person doing the pleading is desperate.

It’s especially used in serious situations. A person might plead with their friend to get help with an addiction. You might plead with your teacher for more time to complete a project.

Plead is used in a more specific way in a legal context, in which it means to declare one’s status in response to charges, especially to plead guilty or not guilty, as in How does the defendant plead? and My client pleads not guilty. It can also mean to argue something in court. The expression plead one’s case uses this sense of the word.

Less commonly, plead can mean to offer as an excuse for or defense of one’s actions. When used this way, it’s typically followed by the specific excuse, as in, Don’t plead ignorance—you knew what you were doing. 

Plead has two past tense forms: pleaded and pled. The noun form of plead is plea.

Example: When I was a kid, I was afraid of the dentist and used to plead with my mom not to make me go.

Where does plead come from?

The first records of plead come from the 1200s. It ultimately comes from the Latin placēre, meaning “to please.” The noun plea, which is also used in law, shares this origin, as does the word please.

Plead is commonly used in law but is generally used in the context of passionate appeals or arguments outside of courtrooms.

Pleading is often done by people who have run out of options. The word often implies desperation or intense need. Someone who is pleading for mercy has no options other than to ask to be spared harm or punishment.

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What are some other forms related to plead?

What are some synonyms for plead?

What are some words that share a root or word element with plead


What are some words that often get used in discussing plead?

How is plead used in real life?

Outside of law, plead implies that someone is passionately begging for something.



Try using plead!

Pleading usually involves making which of the following things?

A. an order
B. a request
C. a question
D. a demand

How to use plead in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for plead

/ (pliːd) /

verb pleads, pleading, pleaded, plead (plɛd) or esp US and Scot pled (plɛd)
(when intr, often foll by with) to appeal earnestly or humbly (to)
(tr; may take a clause as object) to give as an excuse; offer in justification or extenuationto plead ignorance; he pleaded that he was insane
(intr often foll by for) to provide an argument or appeal (for)her beauty pleads for her
law to declare oneself to be (guilty or not guilty) in answer to the charge
law to advocate (a case) in a court of law
(intr) law
  1. to file pleadings
  2. to address a court as an advocate

Derived forms of plead

pleadable, adjectivepleader, noun

Word Origin for plead

C13: from Old French plaidier, from Medieval Latin placitāre to have a lawsuit, from Latin placēre to please; see plea
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