Thesaurus

plea

noun

Synonyms of plea

1 an earnest request
  • the captive made an impassioned plea for his life to be spared

Synonyms for plea

Words Related to plea

2 an explanation that frees one from fault or blame
  • my only plea is that I've been overworked lately

Synonyms for plea

Words Related to plea

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About plea

How does the noun plea contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of plea are alibi, apologia, apology, excuse, and pretext. While all these words mean "matter offered in explanation or defense," plea stresses argument or appeal for understanding or sympathy or mercy.

her usual plea that she was nearsighted

When is alibi a more appropriate choice than plea?

The words alibi and plea can be used in similar contexts, but alibi implies a desire to shift blame or evade punishment and imputes mere plausibility to the explanation.

his alibi failed to stand scrutiny

When can apologia be used instead of plea?

The meanings of apologia and plea largely overlap; however, 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

When would apology be a good substitute for plea?

While the synonyms apology and plea are close in meaning, 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

Where would excuse be a reasonable alternative to plea?

While in some cases nearly identical to plea, excuse implies an intent to avoid or remove blame or censure.

used illness as an excuse for missing the meeting

When is it sensible to use pretext instead of plea?

In some situations, the words pretext and plea are roughly equivalent. However, pretext suggests subterfuge and the offering of false reasons or motives in excuse or explanation.

used any pretext to get out of work

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About plea

Time Traveler for plea

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near plea

plazas

plea

pleach

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Plea.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/plea. Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on plea

Nglish: Translation of plea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plea for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!