- 1[intransitive, transitive] to ask someone for something in a very strong and serious way synonym beg plead (with somebody) (to do something) She pleaded with him not to go. plead (with somebody) (for something) I was forced to plead for my child's life. pleading eyes plead to do something He pleaded to be allowed to see his mother one more time. + speech “Do something!” she pleaded.
- 2 [intransitive, transitive, no passive] to state in court that you are guilty or not guilty of a crime (+ adj.) to plead guilty/not guilty How do you plead? (= said by the judge at the start of the trial) plead something He advised his client to plead insanity (= say that he/she was mentally ill and therefore not responsible for his/her actions).
- 3[transitive] plead something to present a case to a court They hired a top lawyer to plead their case.
- 4[transitive, no passive] plead something (for something) plead that… to give something as an explanation or excuse for something He pleaded family problems for his lack of concentration.
- 5[transitive, intransitive] to argue in support of someone or something plead something She appeared on television to plead the cause of political prisoners everywhere. plead for somebody/something The United Nations has pleaded for a halt to the bombing.
NAmE//plid//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they plead
he / she / it pleads
past simple pleaded
(North American English also) past simple pled
-ing form pleading