plead - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlepleading
past tensepleaded
past participlepleaded
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to ask for something in an urgent or emotional way

    ‘Please help us,’ Claire pleaded.

    plead for:

    He knelt in front of the king, pleading for mercy.

    plead with someone (to do something):

    I pleaded with you to stay, but you turned your back on me.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] legal to say in a court of law whether you are guilty of a crime or not
    plead guilty/not guilty:

    Both defendants pleaded not guilty on all counts.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to mention something as an excuse for doing or not doing something
    plead poverty/ignorance:

    Pleading poverty, he sought charity from local shopkeepers.

    plead tiredness/illness/a headache:

    Ellie pleaded tiredness and went to bed very early.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to try to show that something is important or worth trying to achieve

    He pleaded the case for continued cooperation with the Russians.

    Her book pleaded the cause of women’s education.