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.
Recent Examples of plea from the Web
As part of a plea bargain arrangement, JBS’ owners accused Loures of receiving kickbacks.
The theft charge included in the plea deal states Agnello stole between $7,500 and $150,000 from Ferrous Processing and Trading in Cleveland.
Liew engaged in spoofing at the CME in early 2012, the plea agreement says.
Cason and David Johnson V have testified against Woods, which they were required to do under terms of their plea agreements.
Khweis turned down multiple offers of plea deals, prosecutors said in a court hearing last week.
Merkel ignored Obama’s pleas to reflate the German economy after the financial crisis of 2008 and the euro crisis of 2010.
His plea agreement called for a 13-year sentence to be suspended after Rawls serves six years.
One of the co-defendants was offered a plea deal and was released from prison in 1999, Mr. Figorski said.
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.
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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