- The definition of a plea is an urgent or desperate request, or an official statement made by a defendant in a court as to whether he is guilty or innocent.
- When you are very thirsty and you beg for a drink desperately, this is an example of a plea.
- "Not guilty" is an example of a plea made by a defendant who does not wish to admit guilt for the crime for which he is accused.
plea definition by Webster's New World
- a statement in defense or justification; excuse
- an earnest and urgent request; appeal; entreaty
- a pleading or allegation, now, esp., in a civil action
- the response of a defendant to criminal charges: a plea of not guilty
Origin: Middle English plai ; from Old French plaid, suit, plea ; from Classical Latin placitum, opinion, order, origin, originally that which is pleasing, origin, originally neuter past participle of placere, to please
plea definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- An earnest request; an appeal: spoke out in a plea for greater tolerance.
- An excuse; a pretext: “necessity,/The Tyrant's plea” (John Milton).
- Law a. An allegation offered in pleading a case.b. A defendant's answer to the declaration made by the plaintiff in a civil action.c. The answer of the accused to a criminal charge or indictment: entered a plea of not guilty.d. A special answer depending on or demonstrating one or more reasons why a suit should be delayed, dismissed, or barred in equity law.e. An action or suit.
Origin: Middle English plai, lawsuit, from Old French plai, plaid, from Late Latin placitum, decree, from Latin, from neuter past participle of placēre, to please; see plāk-1 in Indo-European roots.
plea - Legal Definition
- An accused person’s formal reply to a charge in a criminal court, the choices being guilty, not guilty, and nolo contendere (no contest).
- An answer in an equity case telling why a suit should be barred, delayed, or dismissed.
- A pleading.