plea

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: pleâ

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English ple, from Old French plait, plaid, from Medieval Latin placitum (a decree, sentence, suit, plea, etc., Latin an opinion, determination, prescription, order; literally, that which is pleasing, pleasure), neuter of placitus, past participle of placere (to please). Doublet of placit.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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.
    • 1668, Sir John Denham, Poems and Translations with The Sophy, “The Sophy”, Actus Primus, Scena Segunda, page 6:
      No Plea must serve; ’tis cruelty to spare.
  3. That which is alleged or pleaded, in defense or in justification.
  4. (law) That which is alleged by a party in support of his cause.
  5. (law) An allegation of fact in a cause, as distinguished from a demurrer.
  6. (law) The defendant’s answer to the plaintiff’s declaration and demand.
  7. (law) 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.

Usage notes[edit]

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.

Related terms[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Verb[edit]

plea (third-person singular simple present pleas, present participle pleaing, simple 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.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]