Definition of nolo contendere in US English:

nolo contendere

(also nolo)


US Law
  • A plea by which a defendant in a criminal prosecution accepts conviction as though a guilty plea had been entered but does not admit guilt.

    ‘the majority of these entering pleas of nolo contendere’
    ‘the defendant pleaded nolo contendere to a single charge of income tax evasion’
    • ‘In the federal courts the defendant in a criminal prosecution may, under most circumstances, enter a plea of nolo contendere.’
    • ‘Before accepting a plea of nolo contendere, the court must consider the parties' views and the public interest in the effective administration of justice.’


Latin, literally ‘I do not wish to contend’.


nolo contendere

/ˌnōlō kənˈtendərē/