Meaning of plea in English:


Pronunciation /pliː/

See synonyms for plea

Translate plea into Spanish


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

    ‘he made a dramatic plea for disarmament’
    • ‘But unlike Moore, he doesn't rely on emotional pleas from hysterical moms and funny songs to lighten the mood.’
    • ‘Beware of charities long on emotional pleas but short on concrete examples of where the money goes, she advised.’
    • ‘He also is undecided on his emotions, chopping and changing between angry violent outbursts and whiny emotional pleas.’
    • ‘Parents have made emotional pleas for an under-threat school to be saved.’
    • ‘Many people made emotional and strained pleas that it should not even be a subject for discussion.’
    • ‘Campaigners for an improved rail service will take their pleas for urgent action to the very top.’
    • ‘The carnival is being organised by just four dedicated volunteers and Eileen, 62, has now made an urgent plea for help.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The father of a missing Yorkshire woman has made an emotional plea for information about his daughter who vanished three weeks ago.’
    • ‘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 for cash help for a charity which provides a vital service for vulnerable residents across Tendring.’
    • ‘He made an urgent plea for the public to help catch the dealers.’
    • ‘But police have made an urgent plea for help in ensuring dealers from outside the area do not move in and take their place.’
    • ‘A leading north west health expert has issued an urgent plea to food handlers who are suffering from colds to stay away from work.’
    • ‘His emotional plea moved the students to organise a special blood-giving day at the beginning of the college year.’
    • ‘The news has stunned war veterans in the city - and has sparked an urgent plea for more volunteers to come forward.’
    • ‘She made an emotional plea to Wiltshire County Council to fund a bypass.’
    • ‘I think the Home Office should seriously reconsider his urgent plea for asylum forthwith.’
    • ‘Make your views known before it's too late, was the urgent plea being put out to Essex businesses.’
    • ‘An urgent plea has been made to solve parking problems in a village before there is a serious accident.’
    appeal, entreaty, supplication, petition, prayer
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    1. 1.1A 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was given six years for forgery despite his plea that he regarded painting banknotes as "a new form of art."’
      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 defendants put forward a plea of justification, based on the issue of the writ itself.’
    • ‘It seems that he indicated a plea of guilty even before the charge was amended.’
    • ‘I have already said that I am not going to make a plea of diminished responsibility on the grounds of incapacity.’
    • ‘The guilty plea of the accused to both charges laid against him is also mitigating.’
    • ‘During his mitigation plea, he restated his claim that he was the victim of a political conspiracy.’


    plea of tender
    • A plea that the defendant has always been ready to satisfy the plaintiff's claim and now brings the sum into court.

      ‘The affidavit further stated, that the district attorney of the United States moved to strike off from the record the plea of tender as a nullity.’
      • ‘Granting that this plea of tender into court is defective, it would not render the petition insufficient to state a cause of action.’


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’.