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v. plead·ed or pled (plĕd), or plead, plead·ing, pleads
1. To appeal earnestly; beg: plead for more time.
2. To offer reasons for or against something; argue earnestly: plead against a bill.
3. To provide an argument or appeal: Your youth pleads for you in this instance.
4. Law To respond to a criminal charge: plead guilty.
1. To assert as defense, vindication, or excuse; claim as a plea: plead illness as the reason for his absence.
2. Law
a. To specify (a cause of action or defense): plead a First Amendment claim.
b. To set forth in a pleading: plead that plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the breach of contract.

[Middle English pleden, plaiden, from Old French plaidier, from Medieval Latin placitāre, to appeal to the law, from Late Latin placitum, decree, opinion; see plea.]

plead′a·ble adj.
plead′er n.
plead′ing·ly adv.
Usage Note: In strict legal usage, one is said to plead guilty or plead not guilty but not to plead innocent. In nonlegal contexts, however, plead innocent is well established. · The Usage Panel prefers the past tense pleaded over pled outside of legal contexts. In our 2008 survey, the entire Panel found pleaded acceptable in He pleaded with me to give him the part, in contrast to 60 percent who accepted the same sentence using pled, and only 38 who found pled completely acceptable in this use.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pleader - a lawyer who pleads cases in courtpleader - a lawyer who pleads cases in court  
law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"
attorney, lawyer - a professional person authorized to practice law; conducts lawsuits or gives legal advice
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Master Charmolue exhibited an alarming note book, and began to read, with many gestures and the exaggerated accentuation of the pleader, an oration in Latin, wherein all the proofs of the suit were piled up in Ciceronian periphrases, flanked with quotations from Plautus, his favorite comic author.
"You have won your suit, my fair pleader," cried the captain.
The young man passed round to the side of the table where the fair pleader sat, and leaning over her chair said tenderly, --
Whether his wound became more painful, or there was something irresistible in the voice and manner of the fair pleader for her father’s feelings, we know not; but the distance of the young mans manner was sensibly softened by this appeal, and he stood in apparent doubt, as if reluctant to comply with and yet unwilling to refuse her request.
Mr Ralph Nickleby was not, strictly speaking, what you would call a merchant, neither was he a banker, nor an attorney, nor a special pleader, nor a notary.
Strange as it may seem too, there is undoubtedly a degree of protection in the wig and gown - a dismissal of individual responsibility in dressing for the part - which encourages that insolent bearing and language, and that gross perversion of the office of a pleader for The Truth, so frequent in our courts of law.
Ida sat listening to the stumbling words and awkward phrases which were whispered from the back of her, but there was something in Charles Westmacott's clumsiness of speech which was more moving than the words of the most eloquent of pleaders. He paused, he stammered, he caught his breath between the words, and he blurted out in little blunt phrases all the hopes of his heart.
How many vain pleaders for mercy, do you think, have turned away heart-sick from the lawyer's office, to find a resting-place in the Thames, or a refuge in the jail?
Drafts that he requires to be drawn are drawn by special- pleaders in the temple on mysterious instructions; fair copies that he requires to be made are made at the stationers', expense being no consideration.
The pleader, Zafir Khan, pleaded not guilty on Sharif's behalf and read out a statement from him in court.
This has been in force since media reported about the alleged molestation charge against a government pleader, Dhanesh Mathew Manjooran in Kochi earlier this year.
According to Government Pleader Raja Kalifulla, the legal notice had been sent to the newspaper asking it to issue a retraction, failing which the government would take appropriate criminal proceedings for defamation and also take appropriate civil proceedings for damages.