Plead (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Pleaded (colloq. Plead (?) or Pled); p. pr. & vb. n. Pleading.] [OE. pleden, plaiden, OF. plaidier, F. plaider, fr. LL. placitare, fr. placitum. See Plea.]


To argue in support of a claim, or in defense against the claim of another; to urge reasons for or against a thing; to attempt to persuade one by argument or supplication; to speak by way of persuasion; as, to plead for the life of a criminal; to plead with a judge or with a father.

O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor! Job xvi. 21.

2. Law

To present an answer, by allegation of fact, to the declaration of a plaintiff; to deny the plaintiff's declaration and demand, or to allege facts which show that ought not to recover in the suit; in a less strict sense, to make an allegation of fact in a cause; to carry on the allegations of the respective parties in a cause; to carry on a suit or plea.

Blackstone. Burrill. Stephen.


To contend; to struggle.




© Webster 1913.

Plead (?), v. t.


To discuss, defend, and attempt to maintain by arguments or reasons presented to a tribunal or person having uthority to determine; to argue at the bar; as, to plead a cause before a court or jury.

Every man should plead his own matter. Sir T. More.

⇒ In this sense, argue is more generally used by lawyers.


To allege or cite in a legal plea or defense, or for repelling a demand in law; to answer to an indictment; as, to plead usury; to plead statute of limitations; to plead not guilty.



To allege or adduce in proof, support, or vendication; to offer in excuse; as, the law of nations may be pleaded in favor of the rights of ambassadors.


I will neither plead my age nor sickness, in excuse of faults. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.