- When you are very thirsty and you beg for a drink desperately, this is an example of a plea.
- "Not guilty" is an example of a plea made by a defendant who does not wish to admit guilt for the crime for which he is accused.
- a statement in defense or justification; excuse
- an earnest and urgent request; appeal; entreaty
- a pleading or allegation, now, esp., in a civil action
- the response of a defendant to criminal charges: a plea of not guilty
Origin of pleaMiddle English plai from Old French plaid, suit, plea from Classical Latin placitum, opinion, order, origin, originally that which is pleasing, origin, originally neuter past participle of placere, to please
- An earnest request; an appeal: spoke out in a plea for greater tolerance.
- An excuse; a pretext: “[The] colonel … hid first behind a stump and then worked his way to the rear on the plea of a sore back” ( William Marvel )
- Law a. The defendant's answer to a formal criminal charge: entered a plea of not guilty.b. A defendant's answer in a civil action.c. A special answer in an equity action, setting forth in lieu of a detailed response a basis for dismissing, delaying, or barring the suit.d. A legal proceeding.
Origin of pleaMiddle English plai lawsuit from Old French plai, plaid from Late Latin placitum decree from Latin from neuter past participle of placēre to please ; see plāk-1 in Indo-European roots.
- An appeal, petition, urgent prayer or entreaty.
- a plea for mercy
- An excuse; an apology.
- 1667, Necessity, the tyrant's plea. --John Milton, Paradise Lost IV.393
- No plea must serve; "˜t is cruelty to spare. -- Sir John Denham.
- That which is alleged or pleaded, in defense or in justification.
- (law) That which is alleged by a party in support of his cause.
- (law) An allegation of fact in a cause, as distinguished from a demurrer.
- (law) The defendant's answer to the plaintiff's declaration and demand.
- (law) A cause in court; a lawsuit; as, the Court of Common Pleas. See under Common.
- The Supreme Judicial Court shall have cognizance of pleas real, personal, and mixed. --Laws of Massachusetts.
In 19th century U.K. law, that which the plaintiff alleges in his declaration is answered and repelled or justified by the defendant's plea. In chancery practice, a plea is a special answer showing or relying upon one or more things as a cause why the suit should be either dismissed, delayed, or barred. In criminal practice, the plea is the defendant's formal answer to the indictment or information presented against him/her.
plea - Legal Definition
- An accused person’s formal reply to a charge in a criminal court, the choices being guilty, not guilty, and nolo contendere (no contest).
- An answer in an equity case telling why a suit should be barred, delayed, or dismissed.
- A pleading.