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 Battles in the Middle East and vandalism at a Salt Lake City synagogue prompt rabbis and imams to issue a joint plea for peace. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 May 2021 Days earlier, a member of parliament, Manoj Jha, had amplified an SOS plea for an oxygen cylinder or hospital bed for the elder Narwal. Chitrangada Choudhury, Scientific American, 24 May 2021 Jones’s plea for clemency to Texas Gov. Abbott (R) was featured in a New York Times video opinion essay on May 10. Washington Post, 20 May 2021 In addition to the reward increase, Houston’s family made a public plea for information at a press conference at the Atlanta Police Department’s headquarters Tuesday. Henri Hollis, ajc, 4 May 2021 The oldest poems in the Western tradition, the Iliad and the Odyssey, begin with an invocation to the muse, a plea for a mysterious, unfathomable other to enter the artist, taking over, conjuring language. Stephen Marche, The New Yorker, 30 Apr. 2021 Also on Wednesday, the Indian Supreme Court dismissed a legal plea for Kappan’s immediate release, but ordered he be moved to a hospital in New Delhi. Billy Perrigo, Time, 29 Apr. 2021 Bryant’s family members told the Associated Press that the teenager was the one who called 911 and summoned police to the scene in a plea for help. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 28 Apr. 2021 Avalon Young is making a desperate plea for help after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Gabrielle Chung, PEOPLE.com, 26 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

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plea. Accessed 14 Jun. 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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