To plead with someone is to try to convince them to see it your way. Your kids may plead with you to let them go on the super-huge outrageous roller coaster built in 1968, but you know better.

The term plead comes from the word plea, which is from the legal system, where lawyers make a plea to the court and argue a case for their client. To plead is to ask for something from someone, often on the verge of begging. You may plead with the phone company to give an appointment time that spans only three hours, but, regardless of your pleading, they will make you wait eight hours for the technician to finally show.

Definitions of plead

v appeal or request earnestly

“I pleaded with him to stop”
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beg, implore, pray
call upon in supplication; entreat
adjure, beseech, bid, conjure, entreat, press
ask for or request earnestly
plead or ask for earnestly
ask humbly (for something)
importune, insist
beg persistently and urgently
Type of:
appeal, invoke
request earnestly (something from somebody); ask for aid or protection

v offer as an excuse or plea

“She was pleading insanity”
Type of:
apologise, apologize, excuse, justify, rationalise, rationalize
defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning

v enter a plea, as in courts of law

“She pleaded not guilty”
Type of:
state emphatically and authoritatively

v make an allegation in an action or other legal proceeding, especially answer the previous pleading of the other party by denying facts therein stated or by alleging new facts

enter a demurrer
Type of:
allege, aver, say
report or maintain

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