the act of a person who pleads.
  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.

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

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

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


noun law

the act of presenting a case in court, as by a lawyer on behalf of his client
the art or science of preparing the formal written statements of the parties to a legal actionSee also pleadings
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper