Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “plead”

See all translations

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.
More examples

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.
More examples

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)
What is the pronunciation of plead?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “plead” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

exercise

physical activity that you do to make your body strong and healthy

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More