• synonyms

special pleading

  1. Law. pleading that alleges special or new matter in avoidance of the allegations made by the opposite side.
  2. pleading or arguing that ignores unfavorable features of a case.
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Origin of special pleading

First recorded in 1675–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for special pleading

Historical Examples of special pleading

  • A special-pleading signification is given to this dogma by the Commentator: viz.

    Hindu Law and Judicature


  • In writing biography, special-pleading is not good; and I would fain avoid trying to make the Poet out any better than he was.

British Dictionary definitions for special pleading

special pleading

noun law
  1. a pleading that alleges new facts that offset those put forward by the other side rather than directly admitting or denying those facts
  2. a pleading that emphasizes the favourable aspects of a case while omitting the unfavourable
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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