Nolo-contendere definition

nōlō kən-tĕndə-rē
A plea made by the defendant in a criminal action that is substantially but not technically an admission of guilt and subjects the defendant to punishment but permits denial of the alleged facts in other proceedings.
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(law) A plea by which a defendant in a criminal case does not make a defense but does not admit guilt: it leaves the defendant open to conviction but does not prejudice his or her case in collateral proceedings.
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A plea available in certain jurisdictions in which a party declines to contest a charge without formally admitting guilt.
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(law) No contest. The designation of a plea that means that the defendant does not admit the charge, but has no means to dispute it that the court will recognize.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
nolo-contendere
Plural:
nolo contenderes

Origin of nolo-contendere

  • Latin nōlō contendere I do not wish to contend nōlō first person sing. present tense of nōlle to be unwilling contendere to contend

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Directly from Latin nolo contendere (“I do not wish to contend").

    From Wiktionary