Pronunciation: (plē),[key] —n. 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 cop1 (def. 4b).