Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: plaidier, from plaid; PLEA

plead

verb
     
plead
1 [intransitive and transitive] to ask for something that you want very much, in a sincere and emotional way [= beg]:
'Don't go!' Robert pleaded.
plead for
Civil rights groups pleaded for government help.
plead with somebody (to do something)
Moira pleaded with him to stay.
2 past tense and past participle pleaded or pled especially American English [intransitive,transitive not in passive] law to state in a court of law whether or not you are guilty of a crime
plead guilty/not guilty/innocent
Henderson pled guilty to burglary.
3 past tense and past participle pleaded also pled American English

plead ignorance/illness/insanity etc

formal to give a particular excuse for your actions:
She stayed home from work, pleading illness.
4 [transitive] written to give reasons why you think something is true or why something should be done
plead that
Managers pleaded that there was not enough time to make the changes.
Residents successfully pleaded their case at a council meeting.

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