From Middle English pleden, plaiden, from Old French plaider (to plead, offer a plea), from plait, from Medieval Latin placitum (a decree, sentence, suit, plea, etc.", in Classical Latin, "an opinion, determination, prescription, order; literally, that which is pleasing, pleasure), neuter of placitus, past participle of placeō (to please). Cognate with Spanish pleitear (to litigate, take to court).


Present tense, infinitive
  • IPA(key): /ˈpliːd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːd
Past tense
  • IPA(key): /ˈpliːdəd/
  • IPA(key): /plɛd/ (both pled and plead)


plead (third-person singular simple present pleads, present participle pleading, simple past and past participle (North America, England, legal) pleaded or (North America, Scotland) pled or (North America) plead)

  1. (transitive, intransitive, copulative) To present (an argument or a plea), especially in a legal case.
    The defendant has decided to plead not guilty.
  2. (intransitive) To beg, beseech, or implore.
    He pleaded with me not to leave the house.
  3. (transitive) To offer by way of excuse.
    Not wishing to attend the banquet, I pleaded illness.
  4. (transitive) To discuss by arguments.

Related termsEdit


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