Definition of plead
- to make any allegation or plea in an action at law.
- to put forward an answer on the part of a defendant to a legal declaration or charge.
- to address a court as an advocate.
- Obsolete. to prosecute a suit or action at law.
- to maintain (a cause) by argument before a court.
- to allege or set forth (something) formally in an action at law.
- to allege or cite in legal defense: to plead a statute of limitations.
Origin of plead
OTHER WORDS FROM pleadre·plead, verb, re·plead·ed, re·plead·ing.un·plead·ed, adjective
Words nearby plead
MORE ABOUT PLEAD
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.
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.
Your honor, I'd like to plead oopsie daisies
— Disastrophé🖤 (@moonsixnine) November 8, 2020
I heard thunder from afar. I plead for rain. The heat is just too much. :-( 😓
— GemCab (@G_A_Cabreros) May 3, 2017
Why is it so hard to find a bassist? I plead to the gods of rock to help me. =(
— Anuar Chain-Haddad (@McKnzieRbrts) January 6, 2010
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
Su Bin eventually is extradited to the United States, pleads guilty to engaging in the hacking operations from 2008 to 2014, and is sentenced to 46 months in prison.A brief history of US-China espionage entanglements|Konstantin Kakaes|September 3, 2020|MIT Technology Review
“We get on the local news station and plead with test providers to help us facilitate widespread testing,” Fischer said.America Doesn’t Have a Coherent Strategy for Asymptomatic Testing. It Needs One.|by Caroline Chen|September 1, 2020|ProPublica
Doctors and nurses at Tijuana’s Hospital General pleaded for help in an open letter published on Facebook, saying they lack medication and equipment to treat patients, reports Cadena Noticias.Border Report: One More Way the Pandemic Is Hurting Asylum-Seekers|Maya Srikrishnan|August 3, 2020|Voice of San Diego
She pleaded guilty and was sentenced last year to two days in county jail and three years’ probation.Telemarketer Says Another GOP Campaign Was Behind Phil Graham Robocalls|Jesse Marx|July 10, 2020|Voice of San Diego
The father pleaded to be reunited with his partner and explained he did not want to be sent to Mexico without her, the complaint reads.Border Patrol Sent a Newborn U.S. Citizen to Mexico|Maya Srikrishnan|July 10, 2020|Voice of San Diego
The camera passes to each hostage in turn to allow them to plead with the Lebanese government to let them live.
He did not plead guilty, and has regularly filed petitions in an effort to prove his innocence.Behind Bars for the Holidays: 11 Political Prisoners We Want to See Free In 2015|Movements.Org|December 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The news that Grimm was set to plead guilty sent shockwaves through the leadership of the Republican Party on Staten Island.
In all these cases, the students and even faculty members plead ignorance.Hitler is Huge in Thailand: Chicken Joints, T-Shirts, and A Govt.-Issued Propaganda Video|Marlow Stern|December 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
On Friday, many of the minors came back to plead to the residents that this was their only home.In Rome’s Riots, Cries for Mussolini and Attacks on Refugees|Barbie Latza Nadeau|November 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Bernard stood there face to face with Mrs. Vivian, whose eyes seemed to plead with him more than ever.Confidence|Henry James
Whether advocates and orators had liberty to plead in causes, manifestly known to be unjust, vexatious, or oppressive?Gulliver's Travels|Jonathan Swift
He will die of a broken heart, and will plead against me at the judgment-seat.
Put me in remembrance, and let us plead together: tell if thou hast any thing to justify thyself.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version|Various
And the Duke of Wellington refused to plead for the Marshal, for he said "it was absolutely necessary to make an example."Napoleon's Marshals|R. P. Dunn-Pattison
British Dictionary definitions for plead
- to file pleadings
- to address a court as an advocate