Definition of special pleading in English:

special pleading


  • 1[mass noun] Argument in which the speaker deliberately ignores aspects that are unfavourable to their point of view.

    ‘he has produced a piece of special pleading that does not wholly stand up’
    • ‘The foregoing argument may be looked upon suspiciously as special pleading.’
    • ‘The professor's statement was itself a piece of special pleading, by a fine scholar determined to avoid theoretical discussions.’
    • ‘This is a most remarkable piece of special pleading.’
    • ‘No one engaged in special pleading.’
    1. 1.1Appeals to give a particular interest group special treatment.
      ‘we heard his special pleading for his constituency’


special pleading