Definition of “plead” - English Dictionary

“plead” in British English

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pleadverb

uk /pliːd/ us /pliːd/ pleaded or US also pled, pleaded or US also pled

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.

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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.

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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 /ˈpliː.dɪŋ/

a pleading tone of voice
pleadingly
adverb uk /ˈpliː.dɪŋ.li/ us /ˈpliː.dɪŋ.li/

(Definition of “plead” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“plead” in American English

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pleadverb

us /plid/ past tense and past participle pleaded or pled /pled/

plead verb (REQUEST)

[ I ] to make an urgent, emotional statement or request for something:

She appeared on television to plead for help in finding her child.

plead verb (STATE)

[ T ] fml to give an official answer to an accusation in a law court:

to plead guilty/not guilty

(Definition of “plead” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“plead” in Business English

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pleadverb [ I or T ]

uk /pliːd/ us

LAW to say in a court of law if you are guilty or not guilty of something that you have been accused of:

plead guilty/not guilty to sth They pleaded guilty to price-fixing and paid a $45 million fine.

(Definition of “plead” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)