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plead (plēd)
Share:
v. plead·ed or pled (plĕd), or plead, plead·ing, pleads
v.intr.
1. To appeal earnestly; beg: plead for more time.
2. To offer reasons for or against something; argue earnestly: plead against a bill.
3. To provide an argument or appeal: Your youth pleads for you in this instance.
4. Law To respond to a criminal charge: plead guilty.
v.tr.
1. To assert as defense, vindication, or excuse; claim as a plea: plead illness as the reason for his absence.
2. Law
a. To specify (a cause of action or defense): plead a First Amendment claim.
b. To set forth in a pleading: plead that plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the breach of contract.

[Middle English pleden, plaiden, from Old French plaidier, from Medieval Latin placitāre, to appeal to the law, from Late Latin placitum, decree, opinion; see PLEA.]

pleada·ble adj.
pleader n.
pleading·ly adv.

Usage Note: In strict legal usage, one is said to plead guilty or plead not guilty but not to plead innocent. In nonlegal contexts, however, plead innocent is well established. · The Usage Panel prefers the past tense pleaded over pled outside of legal contexts. In our 2008 survey, the entire Panel found pleaded acceptable in He pleaded with me to give him the part, in contrast to 60 percent who accepted the same sentence using pled, and only 38 who found pled completely acceptable in this use.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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