Definition of plea
1 : a legal suit or action
2 : an allegation made by a party in support of a cause: such asa : an allegation of fact — compare demurrerb (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 practicec : 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
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.
Origin and Etymology of 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
First Known Use: 13th century
Synonym Discussion of plea
PLEA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of plea for English Language Learners
: a serious and emotional request for something
law : 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of plea for Students
1 : an earnest appeal The prisoner made a plea for mercy.
2 : something offered as a defense or excuse
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 Editor's 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
Origin and Etymology of 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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