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.
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.
A plea available in certain jurisdictions in which a party declines to contest a charge without formally admitting guilt.
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