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 The bank will pay more than $2.3 billion in the plea deal, U.S. prosecutor Alixandra Smith said, the largest penalty in U.S. history for a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Greg Farrell, Bloomberg.com, "Goldman Admits Role in Record $1.6 Billion 1MDB Bribe Spree," 22 Oct. 2020 The plea deal calls for first-degree murder and several other felony counts to be dismissed. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "In suspected case of mistaken identity, man admits to murder in Red Wing street," 21 Oct. 2020 The sentence was met with heated emotions by some of Benedict Ching’s family, who said prosecutors did not give them an option to weigh in on the plea deal before it was made. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "No prison time for San Francisco woman charged in father’s dismemberment," 20 Oct. 2020 Several sources told me that, when the Miami Herald revealed Acosta’s favorable plea deal for Epstein, the furor served as an excuse to fire him. Eyal Press, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Labor Secretary Is a Wrecking Ball Aimed at Workers," 19 Oct. 2020 Meyer said prosecutors notified him of the plea deal and called and sent letters to Enoch’s family members. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Ex-Cuyahoga County jail guard pleads guilty to assaulting inmate with schizophrenia, receives probation," 19 Oct. 2020 Rob was sentenced to 60 years, while Fox accepted a plea deal of 12 years and served three and a half. Samantha N. Sheppard, The Atlantic, "A Gripping Film About Incarceration’s Impact on Families," 17 Oct. 2020 Still, an extended plea deal wouldn't exactly meet the customary action requirements, so Carter is pretty quickly double-crossed by corrupt agents, forcing him to go on the run and defend himself. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Liam Neeson doesn't steal much more than your time in 'Honest Thief'," 16 Oct. 2020 Richard Holzer, 28, pleaded guilty to attempting to stop people from exercising their religion with an explosive or fire and attempting to destroy a building used in interstate commerce in a plea deal with prosecutors. Fox News, "Alleged neo-Nazi pleads guilty in Colorado synagogue plot," 16 Oct. 2020

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

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plea. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for plea

plea

noun
How to pronounce plea (audio)

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

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