en·​treat in-ˈtrēt How to pronounce entreat (audio)
entreated; entreating; entreats

transitive verb

: to plead with especially in order to persuade : ask urgently
entreated his boss for another chance
archaic : to deal with : treat

intransitive verb

: to make an earnest request : plead
entreatingly adverb
entreatment noun
Choose the Right Synonym for entreat

beg, entreat, beseech, implore, supplicate, adjure, importune mean to ask urgently.

beg suggests earnestness or insistence in the asking.

they begged for help

entreat implies an effort to persuade or to overcome resistance.

entreated me to join them

beseech and implore imply a deeply felt anxiety.

I beseech you to have mercy
implored her not to leave him

supplicate suggests a posture of humility.

with bowed heads they supplicated their Lord

adjure implies advising as well as pleading.

we were adjured to tell the truth

importune suggests an annoying persistence in trying to break down resistance to a request.

importuning viewers for contributions

Examples of entreat in a Sentence

I entreat you to help me. she began her letter by entreating me to forgive the belatedness of her reply
Recent Examples on the Web Within the scene, a standing figure entreats a seated woman, who is Black and wears a dress and head wrap. Kriston Capps, Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2023 After receiving a troubling diagnosis and failing to navigate his company’s byzantine insurance plans, Winston entreats his mega-rich boss for help, only to be cruelly rebuffed. Michael Nordine, Variety, 21 Sep. 2023 It was suspended by an extra-strong polyethylene rope and grappling hook over a rectangular hole in the dock, below an awning where bright-red letters cut from PVC board entreated: go deeper. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 2 June 2023 Before long, rival warlords would entreat the warrior monks to help in their skirmishes. Charlie Campbell, Time, 7 June 2023 Sarastro’s Masonic minions gather around a conference table in generic gray suits, Tamino heads off in pursuit of virtue wearing a white shirt and black pants, and Pamina does a lot of entreating in a frumpy white dress. Vulture, 23 May 2023 In her comments, Arnold entreated industry leaders to hire outside their usual crew. Hannah Abraham, Variety, 16 Mar. 2023 The coronavirus pandemic sparked a 50% increase in online prayer searches last March — to cope with feelings of anxiety and hopelessness, and to entreat a higher power to end the pandemic, according to a May report from the Center for Economic Policy Research, a Washington, D.C. think tank. Selene Rivera, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2021 Kimmel entreated viewers to vote Trump out of office in November, but also went further, attempting to grapple with the larger issues of racial injustice at play. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, 30 May 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'entreat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English entreten, from Anglo-French entreter, from en- + treter to treat

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of entreat was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near entreat

Cite this Entry

“Entreat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entreat. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


en·​treat in-ˈtrēt How to pronounce entreat (audio)
: to ask in a serious and urgent manner : plead, beg
entreatingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on entreat

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!