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See more synonyms for pleading on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of a person who pleads.
  2. Law.
    1. the advocating of a cause in a court of law.
    2. the art or science of setting forth or drawing pleas in legal causes.
    3. a formal statement, usually written, setting forth the cause of action or defense of a case.
    4. pleadings,the successive statements delivered alternately by plaintiff and defendant until the issue is joined.
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Origin of pleading

1250–1300; Middle English pledynge (gerund). See plead, -ing1
Related formsplead·ing·ly, adverbplead·ing·ness, nounnon·plead·ing, adjectivenon·plead·ing·ly, adverbun·plead·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for pleadings

case, claim, contention, exchange, discussion, assertion, reasoning, reason, plea, logic, questioning, debate, pleading, apology, explanation, argument, allegation, action, invocation, service

Examples from the Web for pleadings

Historical Examples of pleadings

  • Her cries and pleadings were being smothered down on his breast.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • After delays, excuses, pleadings, Julie's father lost patience.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • How faint were the pleadings of duty against such arguments!

  • Her heart is more responsive to the pleadings of divine love.

    The Wedding Ring

    T. De Witt Talmage

  • Never in my life have I listened to the pleadings of an opponent with deeper anxiety.

British Dictionary definitions for pleadings


pl n
  1. law (formerly) the formal written statements presented alternately by the claimant and defendant in a lawsuit setting out the respective matters relied uponOfficial name: statements of case
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noun law
  1. the act of presenting a case in court, as by a lawyer on behalf of his client
  2. the art or science of preparing the formal written statements of the parties to a legal actionSee also pleadings
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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 pleadings



late 13c., "the carrying on of a suit at court," verbal noun from plead (v.). Meaning "supplication, intercession" is from early 15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper