nolo contendere

no·lo con·ten·de·re | \ˈnō-(ˌ)lō-kən-ˈten-də-rē \

Definition of nolo contendere 

: a plea in a criminal prosecution that without admitting guilt subjects the defendant to conviction but does not preclude denying the truth of the charges in a collateral proceeding

Examples of nolo contendere in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Mason entered nolo contendere pleas on the resisting, possession and failure-to-register charges. Mark Inabinett,, "Tre Mason announces intention to return to football with video," 28 Mar. 2018 Williams — who was identified by ARLnews as a D.C. resident — pleaded nolo contendere Tuesday, a plea that acknowledges that the state would be able to prove its allegations. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, "At least one ATV stunt driver is going to jail, Virginia news site reports," 24 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nolo contendere.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of nolo contendere

1829, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nolo contendere

Latin, I do not wish to contend

Latin, I do not wish to contend

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nolo contendere

no longer

no love lost


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The first known use of nolo contendere was in 1829

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More Definitions for nolo contendere

nolo contendere

nolo con·ten·de·re | \-kən-ˈten-də-rē, -rā \

Legal Definition of nolo contendere 

: a plea by a defendant in a criminal prosecution that without admitting guilt subjects the defendant to conviction as in the case of a guilty plea but that does not bar denial of the truth of the charges in another proceeding (as a civil action based on the same acts)

called also no contest, non vult contendere

— compare guilty, not guilty sense 1

Comments on nolo contendere

What made you want to look up nolo contendere? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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