Definition of appeal in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘Police are appealing for Blackburn clubbers to come forward after a serious assault near a town centre night club.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We are appealing for healthy people to volunteer to undergo a blood test to see if their bone marrow would be suitable.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Police are appealing for witnesses to a serious assault outside a Richmond bar which has left the victim fighting for his life.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is being treated as a serious incident, and York police are appealing for information and witnesses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A new congressional report highlights a major reason the administration is now urgently appealing for international help.’
    • ‘And what they have done, as I said earlier, was nothing more than, you know, appealing for their constitutional rights.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Officers are not connecting the two attempted snatches, but are urgently appealing for witnesses to both incidents.’
    • ‘He too has been involved in a petition appealing for an investigation, an apology, and media freedom.’
    • ‘We are now urgently appealing for information on the identity of the suspects and the whereabouts of the car.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Members of the action group also collected names for a petition appealing for the retention of the music school throughout the afternoon.’
    ask earnestly, ask urgently, request earnestly, request urgently, make an earnest request, make an urgent request, call, make a plea, plead, beg
    View synonyms
  • 2Law
    Apply to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court.

    ‘he said he would appeal against the conviction’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    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.
      • ‘He takes a proactive role in dealing with home-plate umpires, appealing check-swing calls and soothing pitchers.’
      • ‘The home team appealed for offside but it was more in desperation than anything else and as their heads dropped Ilkley completed the scoring with ten minutes to go.’
      • ‘The local players kept on appealing at every turn, despite the umpire turning it down.’
      • ‘Finally, excessive appealing, looking at the umpire too long for appealing, or not looking at the umpire for appealing will be punishable by burning at the stake.’
      • ‘Morally, there's no difference between a batsman who chooses to stay, knowing that he is out, and a wicketkeeper who appeals against a batsman knowing he isn't.’
    3. 2.3Address oneself to (a principle or quality in someone) in anticipation of a favorable response.
      ‘I appealed to his sense of justice’
      • ‘The customer appeals to a higher patriarchal order - the law - much like a child to a parent.’
      • ‘Now, record executives are appealing to ethics to urge parents to stamp out pirating.’
      • ‘There are bawdy tales in the Bible and that appeals to a certain part of our personalities.’
      • ‘The whole point about folk and dance music is that it appeals to an organic urge to dance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Our site is now for 14-year-olds; we're going to appeal directly to their interests.’
      • ‘He appeals to the inner child and creative spark in all of us with his optimistic and humorous joie de vivre.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Here I am in Rome, and I need to observe the local custom no matter how little it appeals to my nature.’
      • ‘The media always justifies its excesses by appealing to the doctrine of press freedom.’
      • ‘It appeals to his sense of what can be done to preserve an old building and still keep its ambience.’
      • ‘It is an argument which appeals to the emotions rather than the intellect.’
      • ‘What were the historical and political circumstances of his success and to which popular opinions and social interests do his works appeal?’
      implore, beg, beseech, entreat, call on, plead with, ask, request, petition, pray to, apply to, solicit, exhort, adjure, invoke
      View synonyms
  • 3Be attractive or interesting.

    ‘the range of topics will appeal to youngsters’
    • ‘You'd be hard pushed to find a director who only appeals to film students who that applies to.’
    • ‘The quality is superb and the check appeals to those who are willing to pay to make a fashion statement.’
    • ‘Although I wouldn't want it all the time, the idea of being in control appeals to me.’
    • ‘It seems the symmetry of the trilogy appeals to saviours of Rock and Roll and film directors alike.’
    • ‘I read mine regularly and there are particular astrologers whose style appeals to me more than others.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I always go looking for the theme and content and if it appeals to me I take it up.’
    • ‘The festival is an celebration that appeals to a huge sector of our community and for a lot of reasons.’
    • ‘He has credibility for his own generation and his musical outlook appeals to somewhat older fans, too.’
    • ‘He has a very obvious and direct style which appeals to me and obviously a lot of others.’
    • ‘I looked around for a new gym, but none really appealed.’
    • ‘This event appeals to an array of people, vintage lovers and designer slaves alike.’
    • ‘The book will appeal broadly to scholars interested in colonial agriculture and economics.’
    • ‘It appealed very strongly to socialists, because it put the interest of the state ahead of the individual.’
    • ‘It will encourage political parties to rethink their approach to appealing to young people.’
    • ‘It is designed to appeal to people who may not want to approach the police directly.’
    • ‘This autobiography will appeal most to those interested in the history of the Chattahoochee Valley.’
    • ‘This graceful dance, which is easy to learn, appeals to men and women of all ages.’
    • ‘This group will appeal if your interest lies in a somewhat more contemporary repertory.’
    • ‘One of the reasons it appeals to people is because it suggests a story.’
    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
    View synonyms


  • 1A serious or urgent request, typically one made to the public.

    ‘his mother made an appeal for the return of the ring’
    • ‘A Bolton theatre company has sent out an urgent appeal for help in finding props they need for their new play.’
    • ‘Her parents made anguished appeals for her return.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A Hyndburn stray dogs charity has made a heartfelt appeal for help with a homeless pooch who broke his leg after being knocked down.’
    • ‘And police in Lancashire issued urgent appeals for drivers to stay at home last night after a series of accidents.’
    • ‘An urgent appeal has been launched for volunteers to help the vulnerable.’
    • ‘Residents said mosques had broadcast appeals for police to return to duty and some had responded.’
    • ‘Detectives are describing the mugging as ‘despicable’ and have issued an urgent appeal for information.’
    • ‘A boom in the number of rough sleepers in Trowbridge has forced charity officials to make an urgent appeal for more sleeping bags.’
    • ‘Yesterday, villagers added their voice to the appeal for urgent action.’
    • ‘Police have issued an urgent appeal for witnesses to come forward and were at the scene on Thursday looking for forensic clues.’
    • ‘An urgent appeal went out on Radio 3 for the missing four.’
    • ‘Police are launching a fresh appeal following a serious road accident which has left a 17-year-old girl in a critical condition.’
    • ‘A woman has issued a heartfelt appeal this week to anyone who may know the whereabouts of her two-year-old brother.’
    • ‘This is an urgent appeal for drivers to deliver meals on wheels.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An urgent appeal has now gone out from the small group asking for others to help out to keep the festival alive.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was an urgent appeal for blood donors to treat victims of the crash.’
    1. 1.1An attempt to obtain financial support.
      ‘a public appeal to raise $120,000’
      • ‘The store has been a huge supporter of the appeal and already raised more than £5,300 for the school.’
      • ‘People we don't even know have been raising funds for the appeal by doing sponsored walks or holding charity discos and so on.’
      • ‘Money raised by the appeal will fund all three posts for three years.’
      • ‘The £360,000 project was made possible by a public appeal which raised £110,000.’
      • ‘To raise these funds the band has embarked on a public appeal for financial assistance.’
      • ‘The charity launched an appeal in February to raise the £200,000 and has already reached a total of £47,000.’
      • ‘This support means that funds raised by the appeal will go directly to Marie Curie Cancer Care.’
      • ‘The appeal aims to raise funds needed for new diagnostic and treatment equipment for the hospital.’
      • ‘The cash was raised by the group's flood fund appeal through donations and a variety of charity events.’
      • ‘An appeal for public support can be an effective way for parents to get help paying the medical bills.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Vanessa raised hundreds of pounds for the charity by playing requests in exchange for donations to the appeal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But at the same time, they ran appeals for public funds.’
      • ‘Finding the capital cost of complex pieces of equipment is a major hurdle and often public appeals are run to raise the money needed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 has launched an appeal for public donations.’
      • ‘The new mayor says his charity appeal will be to support homeless people.’
    2. 1.2Entreaty.
      ‘a look of appeal on his face’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her eyes had met Polly's, with a look of appeal that had gone straight to the child's simple heart.’
      • ‘She added she had not received the councillors' petition or his appeal for a meeting.’
      • ‘What held my attention, however, was the appeal in his eyes.’
      • ‘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.’
      plea, earnest request, urgent request, entreaty, cry, cry from the heart, call, petition, prayer, supplication, solicitation, application, overture, suit
      View synonyms
  • 2Law
    An application to a higher court for a decision to be reversed.

    ‘he has 28 days in which to lodge an appeal’
    [mass noun] ‘the right of appeal’
    • ‘At first instance the claim failed, but the decision was reversed on appeal.’
    • ‘While some bad decisions get reversed on appeal, that process can take years, which is a long time in a child's life.’
    • ‘On appeal, however, the Eighth Circuit reversed, without dedicating a single line to the issue of class actions.’
    • ‘It must do this within four weeks of the last date on which the practitioner in question could lodge an appeal.’
    • ‘Other applicants could lodge an appeal against the decision based on the change in selection criteria.’
    retrial, reconsideration, re-examination
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1An address to a principle or quality in anticipation of a favorable response.
      ‘an appeal to black pride’
      • ‘I kept strictly away from the threats, focussing instead on the promises and appeals to reason.’
      • ‘Even when not winning, a racer can benefit from the challenge to his sailing skills and the appeal to his sense of adventure.’
      • ‘The appeal to his sense of humor and his sense of justice stimulated him, and being a man who already saw what large consequences sometimes flow from small causes he must have been buoyed up by the thought that any of the cases which came before him might set a very important precedent.’
      • ‘Either way, bigotry is bigotry, and appeals to base instincts should always be repudiated.’
      • ‘An appeal to her sense of fair play had failed to sway her.’
  • 3The quality of being attractive or interesting.

    ‘the popular appeal of football’
    • ‘Although maybe the show's ghastly appeal may attract voyeuristic interest.’
    • ‘A candidate, especially a challenger to an incumbent must have broad appeal.’
    • ‘But while the history is interesting, the deep appeal of fly fishing is not in narrative.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This attractive book's nostalgic appeal is entirely seasonal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With that kind of mass appeal, a really solid program could be built to suit a variety of backgrounds.’
    • ‘Products with the ultimate consumer appeal sometimes come from customers themselves, who provide suggestions.’
    • ‘Such events would have huge appeal and ultimately help increase the club status.’
    • ‘Yet it is because these films tackle serious issues in a serious manner that their appeal is limited.’
    • ‘The glasses have had more immediate appeal among the youth than the garments, which are suited only for party occasions and cold climes.’
    • ‘The variety of musical styles and interesting guests had popular appeal.’
    • ‘Overall, too, the filmmakers have misjudged one of the principal appeals of a movie like this.’
    • ‘Cat suits would have greater appeal for one thing.’
    • ‘He could meet any challenge, he was sure, but waiting to learn what that challenge might be held no appeal at all.’
    • ‘Both professors hope that the popular appeal of the findings will attract students to the department.’
    • ‘Certainly local foodies, already spoilt for choice in the area, now have two fine new restaurants to try, each with individual attractions and appeal.’
    • ‘Rather than an indicator of the quality of British food, the popular appeal of celebrity chefs on British TV is precisely because its direness.’
    • ‘Her schedules, she insists, combine quality with wide appeal.’
    attraction, attractiveness, interest, allure, charm, enchantment, fascination, beauty, charisma, magnetism, temptation, seductiveness, drawing power, enticement
    View synonyms


Middle English (in legal contexts): from Old French apel (noun), apeler (verb), from Latin appellare to address based on ad- to + pellere to drive.