Definition of pleading in US English:



  • 1The action of making an emotional or earnest appeal to someone.

    ‘he ignored her pleading’
    • ‘Where's the lust, the anxious teenage pleading?’
    • ‘Once they decided to deny entry, no amount of pleading on the part of the bands, the promoter or the venue would change their minds.’
    • ‘As soon as we woke up she would start with her pitiful pleading; ‘I don't want to go to kindergarten’.’
    • ‘Having fought through the tears and pleading of our youngest daughter, we finally had the family prepared for their departure.’
    • ‘He looked at me with a mixture of confusion and pleading.’
    • ‘She chose to ignore my pleading and continued with her work.’
    • ‘I appeal to you in the language of passionate pleading.’
    • ‘Chris nodded, her eyes again filling at the earnestness and pleading behind his tone.’
    • ‘The mix of pleading and extreme profanity is almost comical.’
    • ‘Despite months of pleading for helpers there has been little interest in the Melksham Youth Café and the doors could close for the last time on April 26.’
    • ‘He was dead, and all my pleading with him not to leave me was in vain.’
    • ‘Despite their repeated pleading, the police did not allow them to make calls from their mobile phones, which they confiscated.’
    • ‘Also, after much pleading and begging on Powell's part, her mother finally bought her contact lenses.’
    • ‘After much pleading, she wins permission to visit his lavender farm, on condition that she's accompanied by an elderly relative, to deflect gossip from William.’
    • ‘Well, I begged for at least forty-five minutes until I realized that my pleading just wasn't going to get us that sign.’
    • ‘Eventually the driver of the truck had no option but to turn around and leave the plant empty handed, as no amount of pleading from the Gardaí could dispel the motivated group.’
    • ‘Yes, it will take some pleading, but this ties into something else I really can't talk about at the moment.’
    • ‘I eventually did get one after much pleading and begging.’
    • ‘His performance is seen to be remarkably similar to previous pleading when education secretary where he was twice a spending-round winner.’
    • ‘It's self-centred, self-interested pleading at its worst.’
    mediation, intermediation, negotiation, arbitration, conciliation, intervention, interposition, involvement, action
    View synonyms
  • 2usually pleadingsLaw
    A formal statement of the cause of an action or defense.

    • ‘In the pleadings, the defendants assert that the Bank owed them a duty of good faith that was breached.’
    • ‘So there was a full opportunity to the plaintiff to put its pleadings in order.’
    • ‘There are many allegations made in the pleadings against the defendants but the matter which came before me to decide was a narrow one.’
    • ‘Mr McDowell said the State will change its pleading and accept liability in the case of Frank McBrearty Jnr, due to begin on June 21.’
    • ‘The record before me does not contain any pleadings in reply to the statements of defence of the police defendants.’
    • ‘That is what I drew to attention earlier, that this pleading was interpreted in the Court of Appeal - we do not protest it.’


  • Making an emotional appeal.

    ‘he gave her a pleading look’