verb \ˈplēd\

: to ask for something in a serious and emotional way

: to try to prove (a case) in a court of law

: to say in court that you are either guilty or not guilty of a crime : to make a plea

plead·ed \ˈplē-dəd\ or pled also plead \ˈpled\ plead·ing

Full Definition of PLEAD

intransitive verb
:  to argue a case or cause in a court of law
a :  to make an allegation in an action or other legal proceeding; especially :  to answer the previous pleading of the other party by denying facts therein stated or by alleging new facts
b :  to conduct pleadings
:  to make a plea of a specified nature <plead not guilty>
a :  to argue for or against a claim
b :  to entreat or appeal earnestly
transitive verb
:  to maintain (as a case or cause) in a court of law or other tribunal
:  to allege in or by way of a legal plea
:  to offer as a plea usually in defense, apology, or excuse
plead·able \ˈplē-də-bəl\ adjective
plead·er noun
plead·ing·ly \ˈplē-diŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of PLEAD

  1. He begged and pleaded, but she would not change her mind.
  2. She couldn't afford a lawyer to plead her case.
  3. How do you plead? asked the judge.
  4. We plead guilty, Your Honor.
  5. He agreed to plead to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

Origin of PLEAD

Middle English pleden, plaiden, from Anglo-French plaider, pleder, from plai plea
First Known Use: 13th century
PLED Defined for Kids


verb \ˈplēd\
plead·ed or pled \ˈpled\plead·ing

Definition of PLEAD for Kids

:  to ask for in a serious and emotional way :  beg <I pleaded for help.>
:  to offer as a defense, an excuse, or an apology <To avoid going, I'll plead illness.>
:  to argue for or against :  argue in court <His lawyer will plead the case before a jury.>
:  to answer to a criminal charge <They all plead not guilty.>


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