Definitions for: Plea

[n] an answer indicating why a suit should be dismissed
[n] (law) a defendant's answer by a factual matter (as distinguished from a demurrer)
[n] a humble request for help from someone in authority

Webster (1913) Definition: Plea, n. [OE. plee, plai, plait, fr. OF. plait, plaid,
plet, LL. placitum judgment, decision, assembly, court, fr.
L. placitum that which is pleasing, an opinion, sentiment,
from placere to please. See Please, and cf. Placit,
1. (Law) That which is alleged by a party in support of his
cause; in a stricter sense, an allegation of fact in a
cause, as distinguished from a demurrer; in a still more
limited sense, and in modern practice, the defendant's
answer to the plaintiff's declaration and demand. That
which the plaintiff alleges in his declaration is answered
and repelled or justified by the defendant's plea. In
chancery practice, a plea is a special answer showing or
relying upon one or more things as a cause why the suit
should be either dismissed, delayed, or barred. In
criminal practice, the plea is the defendant's formal
answer to the indictment or information presented against

2. (Law) A cause in court; a lawsuit; as, the Court of Common
Pleas. See under Common.

The Supreme Judicial Court shall have cognizance of
pleas real, personal, and mixed. --Laws of

3. That which is alleged or pleaded, in defense or in
justification; an excuse; an apology. ``Necessity, the
tyrant's plea.'' --Milton.

No plea must serve; 't is cruelty to spare.

4. An urgent prayer or entreaty.

Pleas of the crown (Eng. Law), criminal actions.

Synonyms: supplication

See Also: answer, appeal, dilatory plea, due process, due process of law, entreaty, insanity plea, plea of insanity, prayer, trial

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