Definition of plea in US English:

plea

noun

  • 1A request made in an urgent and emotional manner.

    ‘he made a dramatic plea for disarmament’
    • ‘His emotional plea moved the students to organise a special blood-giving day at the beginning of the college year.’
    • ‘He also is undecided on his emotions, chopping and changing between angry violent outbursts and whiny emotional pleas.’
    • ‘She made an emotional plea to Wiltshire County Council to fund a bypass.’
    • ‘He made an urgent plea for the public to help catch the dealers.’
    • ‘It is now six days since the 21-year-old was last seen and her family yesterday made an emotional plea for her to return.’
    • ‘Many people made emotional and strained pleas that it should not even be a subject for discussion.’
    • ‘But unlike Moore, he doesn't rely on emotional pleas from hysterical moms and funny songs to lighten the mood.’
    • ‘An urgent plea has been made for cash help for a charity which provides a vital service for vulnerable residents across Tendring.’
    • ‘Make your views known before it's too late, was the urgent plea being put out to Essex businesses.’
    • ‘But police have made an urgent plea for help in ensuring dealers from outside the area do not move in and take their place.’
    • ‘The carnival is being organised by just four dedicated volunteers and Eileen, 62, has now made an urgent plea for help.’
    • ‘The news has stunned war veterans in the city - and has sparked an urgent plea for more volunteers to come forward.’
    • ‘Beware of charities long on emotional pleas but short on concrete examples of where the money goes, she advised.’
    • ‘The father of a missing Yorkshire woman has made an emotional plea for information about his daughter who vanished three weeks ago.’
    • ‘I think the Home Office should seriously reconsider his urgent plea for asylum forthwith.’
    • ‘Parents have made emotional pleas for an under-threat school to be saved.’
    • ‘Campaigners for an improved rail service will take their pleas for urgent action to the very top.’
    • ‘A villager has voiced an emotional plea to stop a proposed road scheme, which he says will devastate his wife's business.’
    • ‘An urgent plea has been made to solve parking problems in a village before there is a serious accident.’
    • ‘A leading north west health expert has issued an urgent plea to food handlers who are suffering from colds to stay away from work.’
    appeal, entreaty, supplication, petition, prayer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A claim that a circumstance means that one should not be blamed for or should not be forced to do something.
      ‘her plea of a headache was not entirely false’
      • ‘He was given six years for forgery despite his plea that he regarded painting banknotes as "a new form of art."’
      • ‘You must demonstrate that you have made a decision and will no longer accept philandering, excuses, promises or pleas.’
      • ‘His attorneys moved on Wednesday to obtain a prompt hearing on his plea that he is legally entitled to release.’
      claim, explanation, defence, justification, vindication
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  • 2Law
    A formal statement by or on behalf of a defendant or prisoner, stating guilt or innocence in response to a charge, offering an allegation of fact, or claiming that a point of law should apply.

    ‘he changed his plea to not guilty’
    • ‘The guilty plea of the accused to both charges laid against him is also mitigating.’
    • ‘I have already said that I am not going to make a plea of diminished responsibility on the grounds of incapacity.’
    • ‘It seems that he indicated a plea of guilty even before the charge was amended.’
    • ‘The defendants put forward a plea of justification, based on the issue of the writ itself.’
    • ‘During his mitigation plea, he restated his claim that he was the victim of a political conspiracy.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘lawsuit’): from Old French plait, plaid ‘agreement, discussion’, from Latin placitum ‘a decree’, neuter past participle of placere ‘to please’.

Pronunciation

plea

/plē//pli/