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English definition of “plead”

plead

verb uk   /pliːd/ (pleaded or US also pled, pleaded or US also pled) us  

plead verb (REQUEST)

C2 [I] to make an urgent, emotional statement or request for something: He was on his knees, pleading for mercy/forgiveness. She appeared on television to plead with the kidnappers. [+ speech] "Give us more time," they pleaded.

plead verb (STATE)

C2 [I, L only + adj, T] specialized law to make a statement of what you believe to be true, especially in support of something or someone or when someone has been accused in a law court: The defendant pleaded not guilty/innocent to robbery with violence. They paid a high-powered attorney to plead their case (= argue for them in court). The judge ruled her unfit to plead (= to answer a legal charge) on the grounds of insanity.

plead verb (EXCUSE)

C2 [T] to say something as an excuse or explanation: She left early, pleading pressure of work. plead ignorance formal to say that you do not know about something: He pleaded ignorance when they found the package in his suitcase.
pleading
adjective uk   /ˈpliː.dɪŋ/ us  
a pleading tone of voice
pleadingly
adverb uk   /ˈpliː.dɪŋ.li/ us  
(Definition of plead from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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