Definition of appeal in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Make a serious or urgent request, typically to the public.

    ‘police are appealing for information about the incident’
    ‘she appealed to Germany for political asylum’
    • ‘And what they have done, as I said earlier, was nothing more than, you know, appealing for their constitutional rights.’
    • ‘We are appealing for healthy people to volunteer to undergo a blood test to see if their bone marrow would be suitable.’
    • ‘A new congressional report highlights a major reason the administration is now urgently appealing for international help.’
    • ‘Police are appealing for witnesses to a serious assault outside a Richmond bar which has left the victim fighting for his life.’
    • ‘He too has been involved in a petition appealing for an investigation, an apology, and media freedom.’
    • ‘Anxious residents living near a Morden school are appealing for urgent traffic calming measures at an accident blackspot, which they say has become a daily danger to children.’
    • ‘We are now urgently appealing for information on the identity of the suspects and the whereabouts of the car.’
    • ‘Members of the action group also collected names for a petition appealing for the retention of the music school throughout the afternoon.’
    • ‘For the sake of a few pounds this man has seriously injured an old woman and we are appealing for help in tracking him down before he strikes again.’
    • ‘The carnival committee, however, is urgently appealing for the town to join in and enter floats in the colourful procession or participate as walkers in fancy dress.’
    • ‘Thousands of worried residents signed a petition sent to the Government appealing for a replacement post office in the area, but until recently, efforts to relaunch one have failed.’
    • ‘Police are appealing for Blackburn clubbers to come forward after a serious assault near a town centre night club.’
    • ‘It is also appealing for a reduction in class sizes, increased funding for primary schools, action on special needs education and an end to educational disadvantage.’
    • ‘In fact, if one day you're on a land mine crusade, appealing for the world's poorest, and the next you're on a luxury yacht in designer clothes, you run the risk of looking like a great big hypocrite.’
    • ‘Officers are not connecting the two attempted snatches, but are urgently appealing for witnesses to both incidents.’
    • ‘This is being treated as a serious incident, and York police are appealing for information and witnesses.’
    • ‘The country's leaders and all the major parties have been appealing for people to embrace the idea of joining the EU, describing it as the country's surest path to future prosperity.’
    • ‘Naturally this is a very serious incident and we are appealing for any of the passengers on the bus to contact us, as they may have seen something or be able to give a description of this man.’
    • ‘In Tullow, gardaí are appealing for information in relation to a serious arson attack, during which two oil tanks were doused with an accelerant and set on fire.’
    • ‘I am appealing for anyone who intends on going out late at night to consider their personal safety and if alone on foot keep to well lit areas.’
    ask earnestly, ask urgently, request earnestly, request urgently, make an earnest request, make an urgent request, call, make a plea, plead, beg
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  • 2Law
    Apply to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court.

    ‘he said he would appeal against the conviction’
    • ‘Prosecution lawyers now have two or three days in which they can apply to appeal against the decision.’
    • ‘Do you say that the respondent appealed or sought special leave to appeal against that decision?’
    • ‘The unidentified man has 12 hours to appeal against the decision.’
    • ‘If enforcement is authorised, the party against whom enforcement is sought may appeal against the decision within one month of service thereof.’
    • ‘But he is likely to face several court appearances and the process could take months as suspects have the right to appeal against extradition decisions.’
    1. 2.1North American with object Apply to a higher court for a reversal of (the decision of a lower court)
      ‘they have 48 hours to appeal the decision’
    2. 2.2Baseball (of the team in the field) call on the umpire to rule a strike or out on a completed play.
    3. 2.3appeal to Address oneself to (a principle or quality in someone) in anticipation of a favorable response.
      ‘I appealed to his sense of justice’
      • ‘Now, record executives are appealing to ethics to urge parents to stamp out pirating.’
      • ‘The whole point about folk and dance music is that it appeals to an organic urge to dance.’
      • ‘Our site is now for 14-year-olds; we're going to appeal directly to their interests.’
      • ‘What were the historical and political circumstances of his success and to which popular opinions and social interests do his works appeal?’
      • ‘Here I am in Rome, and I need to observe the local custom no matter how little it appeals to my nature.’
      • ‘It is an argument which appeals to the emotions rather than the intellect.’
      • ‘He appeals to the inner child and creative spark in all of us with his optimistic and humorous joie de vivre.’
      • ‘The customer appeals to a higher patriarchal order - the law - much like a child to a parent.’
      • ‘The media always justifies its excesses by appealing to the doctrine of press freedom.’
      • ‘There are bawdy tales in the Bible and that appeals to a certain part of our personalities.’
      • ‘It appeals to his sense of what can be done to preserve an old building and still keep its ambience.’
      • ‘Yet I'm sure it is in part my librarian nature that all this stuff appeals to, this is part of why I love it so.’
      • ‘Abundant in fresh sea products, the coast of Kyushu is dotted with fascinating small islands and appeals both to one's stomach and eyes.’
      • ‘Some people run for high political office because it appeals to their vanity.’
      implore, beg, beseech, entreat, call on, plead with, ask, request, petition, pray to, apply to, solicit, exhort, adjure, invoke
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  • 3Be attractive or interesting.

    ‘the range of topics will appeal to youngsters’
    • ‘I always go looking for the theme and content and if it appeals to me I take it up.’
    • ‘He has a very obvious and direct style which appeals to me and obviously a lot of others.’
    • ‘This graceful dance, which is easy to learn, appeals to men and women of all ages.’
    • ‘It seems the symmetry of the trilogy appeals to saviours of Rock and Roll and film directors alike.’
    • ‘This autobiography will appeal most to those interested in the history of the Chattahoochee Valley.’
    • ‘The book will appeal broadly to scholars interested in colonial agriculture and economics.’
    • ‘It is designed to appeal to people who may not want to approach the police directly.’
    • ‘One of the reasons it appeals to people is because it suggests a story.’
    • ‘This group will appeal if your interest lies in a somewhat more contemporary repertory.’
    • ‘It will encourage political parties to rethink their approach to appealing to young people.’
    • ‘This event appeals to an array of people, vintage lovers and designer slaves alike.’
    • ‘It focuses on what we intend to give, rather than what we would like to receive, and in this respect it appeals to me a great deal.’
    • ‘He has credibility for his own generation and his musical outlook appeals to somewhat older fans, too.’
    • ‘The festival is an celebration that appeals to a huge sector of our community and for a lot of reasons.’
    • ‘Although I wouldn't want it all the time, the idea of being in control appeals to me.’
    • ‘You'd be hard pushed to find a director who only appeals to film students who that applies to.’
    • ‘I read mine regularly and there are particular astrologers whose style appeals to me more than others.’
    • ‘I looked around for a new gym, but none really appealed.’
    • ‘The quality is superb and the check appeals to those who are willing to pay to make a fashion statement.’
    • ‘It appealed very strongly to socialists, because it put the interest of the state ahead of the individual.’
    attract, be attractive to, interest, be of interest to, please, take someone's fancy, charm, engage, fascinate, intrigue, tempt, entice, allure, beguile, lure, invite, draw, whet someone's appetite
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  • 1A serious or urgent request, typically one made to the public.

    ‘his mother made an appeal for the return of the ring’
    • ‘A Hyndburn stray dogs charity has made a heartfelt appeal for help with a homeless pooch who broke his leg after being knocked down.’
    • ‘This is an urgent appeal for drivers to deliver meals on wheels.’
    • ‘An urgent appeal has now gone out from the small group asking for others to help out to keep the festival alive.’
    • ‘A Bolton theatre company has sent out an urgent appeal for help in finding props they need for their new play.’
    • ‘Meanwhile police issued an urgent appeal for anyone who saw the red getaway car or the skip lorry prior to the raid in either Sheffield or Balby to contact them.’
    • ‘There was an urgent appeal for blood donors to treat victims of the crash.’
    • ‘An urgent appeal has been launched for volunteers to help the vulnerable.’
    • ‘A boom in the number of rough sleepers in Trowbridge has forced charity officials to make an urgent appeal for more sleeping bags.’
    • ‘Her parents made anguished appeals for her return.’
    • ‘Police have issued an urgent appeal for witnesses to come forward and were at the scene on Thursday looking for forensic clues.’
    • ‘Residents said mosques had broadcast appeals for police to return to duty and some had responded.’
    • ‘Police are launching a fresh appeal following a serious road accident which has left a 17-year-old girl in a critical condition.’
    • ‘Yesterday, villagers added their voice to the appeal for urgent action.’
    • ‘Detectives are describing the mugging as ‘despicable’ and have issued an urgent appeal for information.’
    • ‘Health authorities in Kildare have launched a fresh appeal for the mother or father of a baby girl who was abandoned last April to come forward.’
    • ‘An urgent appeal went out on Radio 3 for the missing four.’
    • ‘A mother who failed to collect her baby son after leaving him at a childminder's house nearly two weeks ago sparked an urgent appeal from police concerned for her safety.’
    • ‘And police in Lancashire issued urgent appeals for drivers to stay at home last night after a series of accidents.’
    • ‘A woman has issued a heartfelt appeal this week to anyone who may know the whereabouts of her two-year-old brother.’
    • ‘Last night detectives, deeply concerned at the level of violence used in each attack, issued an urgent appeal for help in catching the man before he strikes again.’
    1. 1.1 An attempt to obtain financial support.
      ‘a public appeal to raise $120,000’
      • ‘This support means that funds raised by the appeal will go directly to Marie Curie Cancer Care.’
      • ‘The store has been a huge supporter of the appeal and already raised more than £5,300 for the school.’
      • ‘Money raised by the appeal will fund all three posts for three years.’
      • ‘A teenager on holiday in Greece has sent his mum an urgent appeal for cash - after his first trip abroad became a red-tape nightmare.’
      • ‘An appeal for public support can be an effective way for parents to get help paying the medical bills.’
      • ‘Finding the capital cost of complex pieces of equipment is a major hurdle and often public appeals are run to raise the money needed.’
      • ‘To raise these funds the band has embarked on a public appeal for financial assistance.’
      • ‘Tables of four are £20.00 and an appeal goes out for support, sponsorship and donations.’
      • ‘The Red Cross, one of the first charities to launch an appeal, has so far raised £5.25 million.’
      • ‘The appeal aims to raise funds needed for new diagnostic and treatment equipment for the hospital.’
      • ‘The charity has launched an appeal for public donations.’
      • ‘People we don't even know have been raising funds for the appeal by doing sponsored walks or holding charity discos and so on.’
      • ‘But at the same time, they ran appeals for public funds.’
      • ‘Vanessa raised hundreds of pounds for the charity by playing requests in exchange for donations to the appeal.’
      • ‘The cash was raised by the group's flood fund appeal through donations and a variety of charity events.’
      • ‘During the party conference in Blackpool earlier this month, there were appeals for individual donations to help prop up the troubled pension fund for the party's army of front-line staff.’
      • ‘The new mayor says his charity appeal will be to support homeless people.’
      • ‘The £360,000 project was made possible by a public appeal which raised £110,000.’
      • ‘The authorities will now promote the appeal for donations and fight to raise £300,000 nationwide to assist with the completion of the centre.’
      • ‘The charity launched an appeal in February to raise the £200,000 and has already reached a total of £47,000.’
    2. 1.2 Entreaty.
      ‘a look of appeal on his face’
      • ‘She added she had not received the councillors' petition or his appeal for a meeting.’
      • ‘Her eyes had met Polly's, with a look of appeal that had gone straight to the child's simple heart.’
      • ‘These appeals persuade not through the give-and-take of argument and debate, but through the manipulation of symbols and of our most basic human emotions.’
      • ‘She cast a look of appeal at Daisy.’
      • ‘Trumped-up waiting lists and emotional appeals concerning the poor quality of child care are indications of a far greater goal.’
      • ‘What held my attention, however, was the appeal in his eyes.’
      plea, earnest request, urgent request, entreaty, cry, cry from the heart, call, petition, prayer, supplication, solicitation, application, overture, suit
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  • 2Law
    An application to a higher court for a decision to be reversed.

    ‘he has 28 days in which to lodge an appeal’
    ‘the right of appeal’
    • ‘Other applicants could lodge an appeal against the decision based on the change in selection criteria.’
    • ‘It must do this within four weeks of the last date on which the practitioner in question could lodge an appeal.’
    • ‘At first instance the claim failed, but the decision was reversed on appeal.’
    • ‘On appeal, however, the Eighth Circuit reversed, without dedicating a single line to the issue of class actions.’
    • ‘While some bad decisions get reversed on appeal, that process can take years, which is a long time in a child's life.’
    retrial, reconsideration, re-examination
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    1. 2.1 An address to a principle or quality in anticipation of a favorable response.
      ‘an appeal to common sense’
  • 3The quality of being attractive or interesting.

    ‘the popular appeal of football’
    • ‘With that kind of mass appeal, a really solid program could be built to suit a variety of backgrounds.’
    • ‘Rather than an indicator of the quality of British food, the popular appeal of celebrity chefs on British TV is precisely because its direness.’
    • ‘The variety of musical styles and interesting guests had popular appeal.’
    • ‘Such events would have huge appeal and ultimately help increase the club status.’
    • ‘Certainly local foodies, already spoilt for choice in the area, now have two fine new restaurants to try, each with individual attractions and appeal.’
    • ‘Food commands so much appeal and interest that most newspapers devote valuable column space for food writings on Sundays.’
    • ‘For these people, a national network with a brand image and good quality had much appeal.’
    • ‘Overall, too, the filmmakers have misjudged one of the principal appeals of a movie like this.’
    • ‘He could meet any challenge, he was sure, but waiting to learn what that challenge might be held no appeal at all.’
    • ‘Yet it is because these films tackle serious issues in a serious manner that their appeal is limited.’
    • ‘Cat suits would have greater appeal for one thing.’
    • ‘This attractive book's nostalgic appeal is entirely seasonal.’
    • ‘Both professors hope that the popular appeal of the findings will attract students to the department.’
    • ‘Her schedules, she insists, combine quality with wide appeal.’
    • ‘Although maybe the show's ghastly appeal may attract voyeuristic interest.’
    • ‘Products with the ultimate consumer appeal sometimes come from customers themselves, who provide suggestions.’
    • ‘A candidate, especially a challenger to an incumbent must have broad appeal.’
    • ‘The glasses have had more immediate appeal among the youth than the garments, which are suited only for party occasions and cold climes.’
    • ‘Men and women in these areas had little cause to delay marriage, and prudence had little appeal when there was no chance of ultimate independence.’
    • ‘But while the history is interesting, the deep appeal of fly fishing is not in narrative.’
    attraction, attractiveness, interest, allure, charm, enchantment, fascination, beauty, charisma, magnetism, temptation, seductiveness, drawing power, enticement
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Middle English (in legal contexts): from Old French apel (noun), apeler (verb), from Latin appellare ‘to address’, based on ad- ‘to’ + pellere ‘to drive’.