Pronunciation Noun

plea (plural pleas)

  1. An appeal, petition, urgent prayer or entreaty.
    a plea for mercy
  2. An excuse; an apology.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost IV.393
      Necessity, the tyrant’s plea.
  3. That which is alleged or pleaded, in defense or in justification.
  4. (legal) That which is alleged by a party in support of his cause.
  5. (legal) An allegation of fact in a cause, as distinguished from a demurrer.
  6. (legal) The defendant’s answer to the plaintiff’s declaration and demand.
  7. (legal) A cause in court; a lawsuit; as, the Court of Common Pleas.
    • 1782, "An Act establishing a Supreme Judicial Court within the Commonwealth", quoted in The Constitutional History of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Frank Washburn Grinnell, 1917, page 434 ↗
      they or any three of them shall be a Court and have cognizance of pleas real, personal, and mixed.
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  • Russian: суде́бный акт

plea (pleas, present participle pleaing; past and past participle pleaed)

  1. (chiefly, England regional, Scotland) To plead; to argue. [from 15th c.]
    • 1824, James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner:
      With my riches, my unhappiness was increased tenfold; and here, with another great acquisition of property, for which I had pleaed, and which I had gained in a dream, my miseries and difficulties were increasing.

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