Plea Plea, n. [OE. plee, plai, plait, fr. OF. plait, plaid, plet, LL. placitum judgment, decision, assembly, court, fr. L. placitum that which is pleasing, an opinion, sentiment, from placere to please. See {Please}, and cf. {Placit}, {Plead}.] 1. (Law) That which is alleged by a party in support of his cause; in a stricter sense, an allegation of fact in a cause, as distinguished from a demurrer; in a still more limited sense, and in modern practice, the defendant's answer to the plaintiff's declaration and demand. That which the plaintiff alleges in his declaration is answered and repelled or justified by the defendant's plea. In chancery practice, a plea is a special answer showing or relying upon one or more things as a cause why the suit should be either dismissed, delayed, or barred. In criminal practice, the plea is the defendant's formal answer to the indictment or information presented against him. [1913 Webster]

2. (Law) A cause in court; a lawsuit; as, the Court of Common Pleas. See under {Common}. [1913 Webster]

The Supreme Judicial Court shall have cognizance of pleas real, personal, and mixed. --Laws of Massachusetts. [1913 Webster]

3. That which is alleged or pleaded, in defense or in justification; an excuse; an apology. ``Necessity, the tyrant's plea.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

No plea must serve; 't is cruelty to spare. --Denham. [1913 Webster]

4. An urgent prayer or entreaty. [1913 Webster]

{Pleas of the crown} (Eng. Law), criminal actions. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • plea — / plē/ n [Anglo French plei plai legal action, trial, from Old French plait plaid, from Medieval Latin placitum, from Latin, decision, decree, from neuter of placitus, past participle of placēre to please, be decided] 1 a: an allegation of fact… …   Law dictionary

  • plea — [pliː] noun [countable usually singular] LAW a statement by someone in a court of law, saying whether they are guilty of a crime or not: • Your honor, we enter (= make ) a plea of not guilty . * * …   Financial and business terms

  • plea — [pli:] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: plait, plaid, from Latin placitum decision , from placere; PLEASE2] 1.) a request that is urgent or full of emotion plea for ▪ a plea for help ▪ Caldwell made a plea for donations …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • plea — [ pli ] noun count ** 1. ) an urgent or emotional request for something: plea for: The police ignored her pleas for help. make a plea: The boy s parents have made an emotional plea for him to come home. 2. ) LEGAL a statement that someone makes… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Plea — bezeichnet: eine Wanze namens Plea minutissima, Plea leachi oder Plea atomaria, deutsch Wasserzwerg in angloamerikanisch geprägten Strafprozessen ein Bekenntnis des Angeklagten auf „schuldig“ (guilty plea) oder „nicht schuldig“ (not guilty plea) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • plea — [plē] n. [ME plai < OFr plaid, suit, plea < L placitum, opinion, order, orig. that which is pleasing, orig. neut. pp. of placere, to PLEASE] 1. a statement in defense or justification; excuse 2. an earnest and urgent request; appeal;… …   English World dictionary

  • plea — (n.) early 13c., lawsuit, from Anglo Fr. plai (late 12c.), O.Fr. plait lawsuit, decision, decree (9c.), from M.L. placitum lawsuit, in classical Latin, opinion, decree, lit. that which pleases, thing which is agreed upon, properly neuter pp. of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • plea — [n1] begging request appeal, application, entreaty, imploration, imprecation, intercession, orison, overture, petition, prayer, round robin*, solicitation, suit, supplication; concept 662 Ant. answer, reply plea [n2] excuse, defense action, alibi …   New thesaurus

  • Plea — Plea, Gattung der Wanzenart Notonectides …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • plea — 1 *apology, apologia, excuse, pretext, alibi Analogous words: explanation, justification, rationalization (see corresponding verbs at EXPLAIN): defense, vindication (see corresponding verbs at MAINTAIN) 2 *prayer, suit, petition, appeal Analogous …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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