plea

noun
\ ˈplē How to pronounce plea (audio) \

Definition of plea

1 : a legal suit or action
2 : an allegation made by a party in support of a cause: such as
a : an allegation of fact — compare demurrer entry 1
b(1) : a defendant's answer to a plaintiff's declaration in common-law practice
(2) : an accused person's answer to a charge or indictment in criminal practice
c : a plea of guilty to an indictment
3 : something offered by way of excuse or justification left early with the plea of a headache
4 : an earnest entreaty : appeal their plea for understanding must be answered

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Choose the Right Synonym for plea

apology, apologia, excuse, plea, pretext, alibi mean matter offered in explanation or defense. apology usually applies to an expression of regret for a mistake or wrong with implied admission of guilt or fault and with or without reference to mitigating or extenuating circumstances. said by way of apology that he would have met them if he could apologia implies not admission of guilt or regret but a desire to make clear the grounds for some course, belief, or position. his speech was an apologia for his foreign policy excuse implies an intent to avoid or remove blame or censure. used illness as an excuse for missing the meeting plea stresses argument or appeal for understanding or sympathy or mercy. her usual plea that she was nearsighted pretext suggests subterfuge and the offering of false reasons or motives in excuse or explanation. used any pretext to get out of work alibi implies a desire to shift blame or evade punishment and imputes mere plausibility to the explanation. his alibi failed to stand scrutiny

Examples of plea in a Sentence

We are making a plea to all companies to stop polluting the environment. The defendant entered a plea of not guilty.
Recent Examples on the Web Assistant Federal Public Defender Francesca Freccero entered a not guilty plea to the charge on Raven-Guido’s behalf. oregonlive, "19-yr-old accused of setting fire to Portland police union building now faces federal arson charge," 6 May 2021 Cody Richard Griggers, 28, of Montrose, Georgia, entered a guilty plea on Monday of unlawfully possessing an unregistered firearm, the Justice Department announced this week. Josh Campbell, CNN, "Former Georgia deputy called beating Black man in custody 'sweet stress relief,' FBI says," 30 Apr. 2021 Serriteno has not entered a plea on the initial murder charge. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, "How a dating app meetup led to alleged murder, arson and 2 more deaths," 30 Apr. 2021 Clark entered guilty plea to obstruction of justice in 2019 and testified against Angelina in the trial. Brook Endale, The Enquirer, "Clermont County woman accused of killing estranged husband in custody dispute found guilty," 30 Apr. 2021 Wibracht entered a guilty plea Feb. 12, the same day he was charged. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "The rise and fall of a San Antonio apartment developer," 29 Apr. 2021 Potter, a 26-year veteran officer, was charged with second-degree manslaughter and has not yet entered a plea. NBC News, "Daunte Wright's funeral sets up another emotional day in Minneapolis," 22 Apr. 2021 Facing a possible 10-year sentence on gun and drug charges, Wilson entered a plea and was found guilty. Washington Post, "Fairfax seeks to dismiss 400 convictions in cases brought by one officer," 16 Apr. 2021 Through his attorneys, Cua entered a not guilty plea. Anchorage Daily News, "He heeded Trump’s call to fight. Now a Georgia teen awaits the consequences," 11 Apr. 2021

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

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First Known Use of plea

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plea

Middle English ple, plede, from Anglo-French plai, pleit from Medieval Latin placitum, from Latin, decision, decree, from neuter of placitus, past participle of placēre to please, be decided — more at please

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Time Traveler for plea

Time Traveler

The first known use of plea was in the 13th century

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Statistics for plea

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plea. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for plea

plea

noun

English Language Learners Definition of plea

: a serious and emotional request for something
: a statement in which a person who has been accused of a crime says in court that he or she is guilty or not guilty of the crime
: a statement in which a person says that he or she is guilty of a particular crime : a plea of guilty

plea

noun
\ ˈplē How to pronounce plea (audio) \

Kids Definition of plea

1 : an earnest appeal The prisoner made a plea for mercy.
2 : something offered as a defense or excuse

plea

noun
\ ˈplē How to pronounce plea (audio) \

Legal Definition of plea

1a : an allegation of fact in civil litigation made in response to a claim — compare demurrer
b : a defendant's answer to a plaintiff's claim in civil litigation

Note: Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and in states where they have been adopted, civil pleas are abolished, and answers and motions are used instead. Such pleas were used at common law.

dilatory plea \ ˈdi-​lə-​ˌtōr-​ē-​ \
: a common-law plea which is intended to defeat the pending action or proceeding without involving any decision on the merits of the case
plea in abatement
: a plea entered by a party seeking postponement or dismissal of an action by setting forth some matter or defect regarding procedure, jurisdiction, or timing

called also plea of abatement

plea in bar
: a plea that alleges the existence of an absolute bar (as a statute of limitations) to an action
plea of abatement
: plea in abatement in this entry
2a : an accused party's answer to a criminal charge or indictment
b : a plea of guilty
3 : an earnest entreaty

History and Etymology for plea

Anglo-French plei plai legal action, trial, from Old French plait plaid, from Medieval Latin placitum, from Latin, decision, decree, from neuter of placitus, past participle of placēre to please, be decided

More from Merriam-Webster on plea

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plea

Nglish: Translation of plea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plea for Arabic Speakers

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