verb (used without object), plead·ed or pled, plead·ing.

  1. to appeal or entreat earnestly: to plead for time.
  2. to use arguments or persuasions, as with a person, for or against something: She pleaded with him not to take the job.
  3. to afford an argument or appeal: His youth pleads for him.
  4. Law.
    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. prosecute a suit or action at law.

verb (used with object), plead·ed or pled, plead·ing.

  1. to allege or urge in defense, justification, or excuse: to plead ignorance.
  2. Law.
    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.

verb pleads, pleading, pleaded, plead (plɛd) or esp US and Scot pled (plɛd)

  1. (when intr, often foll by with) to appeal earnestly or humbly (to)
  2. (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
  3. (intr often foll by for) to provide an argument or appeal (for)her beauty pleads for her
  4. law to declare oneself to be (guilty or not guilty) in answer to the charge
  5. law to advocate (a case) in a court of law
  6. (intr) law
    1. to file pleadings
    2. to address a court as an advocate

mid-13c., “make a plea in court,” from Anglo-French pleder, Old French plaidier, “plead at court” (11c.), from Medieval Latin placitare, from Late Latin placitum (see plea). Sense of “request, beg” first recorded late 14c. Related: Pleaded; pleading; pleadingly.

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