Hypertext Webster Gateway: "plead"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Plead \Plead\, v. t.
1. 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.

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

2. 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. --Kent.

3. 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. --Spenser.

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

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Plead \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}.]
1. 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.

3. To contend; to struggle. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

v 1: appeal or request earnestly; "I pleaded with him to stop"
2: offer as an excuse or plea; "She was pleading insanity"
3: enter a plea, as in courts of law; "She pleaded not guilty"
4: make an allegation in an action or other legal proceeding,
esp. answer the previous pleading of the other party by
denying facts therein stated or by alleging new facts

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