Pronunciation: (plē), [key]
1. an appeal or entreaty: a plea for mercy.
2. something that is alleged, urged, or pleaded in defense or justification.
3. an excuse; pretext: He begged off on the plea that his car wasn't working.
4. Law.
a. an allegation made by, or on behalf of, a party to a legal suit, in support of his or her claim or defense.
b. a defendant's answer to a legal declaration or charge.
c. (in courts of equity) a plea that admits the truth of the declaration, but alleges special or new matter in avoidance.
d. Obs.a suit or action.
5. cop a plea, Slang.See cop 1 (def. 4b).

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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