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

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 Minor pled guilty in those cases in exchange for a plea agreement that gave him two years' probation. Krista Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 28 July 2022 The officer, who was not identified, raised his riot shield above his head to protect himself, and Ponder struck the shield with his pole, snapping it in two, according to his plea agreement. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 26 July 2022 The plea agreement calls for prosecutors and defense attorneys to recommend Priola serve between 15 and 21 months in prison. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 26 July 2022 Mirkhaef’s plea agreement stated he was urged to contact Sandoval by Public Official A and another uncharged co-conspirator, identified in the document as Individual A. Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune, 26 July 2022 She was also charged with resisting a public officer and child abuse, but those charges were dropped as part of her plea agreement, according to the Times. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 26 July 2022 The plea agreement, which called for a 14-year prison term, was approved by D.C. Superior Court Judge Rainey R. Brandt, who sentenced Washington on Monday. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, 25 July 2022 As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors and Ethridge’s defense attorney agreed to recommend a prison sentence of 27 years or less. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 25 July 2022 As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors and Ethridge's defense attorney agreed to recommend a prison sentence of 27 years or less. Fox News, 22 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near plea

PLC

plea

plea bargaining

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Statistics for plea

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plea. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for plea

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

Nglish: Translation of plea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plea for Arabic Speakers

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