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 spa’s owner was facing a minimum of four years and maximum of 35 years in prison, but was sentenced to only nine months in jail and probation after a plea deal. Terry Spencer, The Seattle Times, "AP Investigation: Florida gets tougher on massage-parlor sex," 31 Mar. 2019 The decision contrasted sharply with the court’s 5-4 vote last month rejecting a similar plea from a Muslim inmate in Alabama. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Halts Execution, Ruling Inmate Entitled to Buddhist Cleric," 28 Mar. 2019 The probe has indicted or gotten guilty pleas from at least 33 people and three companies since Mueller was appointed in May 2017. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Time’s 2018 Person of the Year runner-up is special counsel Robert Mueller," 11 Dec. 2018 Trump had agreed to lift crippling U.S. sanctions, which threatened to put China’s second-largest telecom equipment maker out of business, after a personal plea from China’s president, Xi Jinping. Roxana Tiron, Bloomberg.com, "Senators Cite ZTE Progress But No Deal After Trump Meeting," 21 June 2018 At the Commerce Department, officials have been overwhelmed with pleas from U.S. companies for waivers from levies on foreign steel and aluminum that the president introduced in March. David J. Lynch, chicagotribune.com, "Flood of U.S. companies seek relief on tariffs," 20 June 2018 The Harford County Board of Education approved a $461.7 million operating budget for the next school year early Tuesday morning, after hours of debate and pleas from scores of school employees not to cut a number of support positions. Allan Vought, The Aegis, "Harford school board passes $461.7 million budget; funds raises but cuts support positions," 12 June 2018 This was Cunningham's plea to Judge Elliot Lee Daum of the Sonoma County Superior Court on November 30, 2017. Alexander Huls, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Star Wars Heist," 7 Mar. 2019 The thread that connects the two storylines is Michonne’s diplomatic plea that the different communities establish rules about how to punish bad behavior and how to deem people worthy of reintegration into the community after committing a crime. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The Walking Dead is finally tackling morality like it’s smarter than a comic book," 15 Oct. 2018

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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Learn More about plea

Dictionary Entries near plea

plbg

plbr

PLC

plea

plea bargaining

pleach

plead

Statistics for plea

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plea

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on plea

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plea

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plea

Spanish Central: Translation of plea

Nglish: Translation of plea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plea for Arabic Speakers

Comments on plea

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