Plead

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plead

v. 1) in civil lawsuits and petitions, the filing of any document (pleading) including complaints, petitions, declarations, motions, and memoranda of points and authorities. 2) in criminal law, the entry of plea of a defendant in response to each charge of criminal conduct. (See: plea, pleading)

TO PLEAD. The formal entry of the defendant's defence on the record. In a popular sense, it signifies the argument in a cause, but it is not so used by the profession. Steph. Pl. Appx. note I; Story, Eq. Pl. Sec. 5, note.

References in classic literature ?
Secondly, for the advocates and counsel that plead. Patience and gravity of hearing, is an essential part of justice; and an overspeaking judge is no well-tuned cymbal.
I wasted no time in persuasion; the right person to plead my cause was asleep in her arms.
Tulliver had a destiny as well as Oedipus, and in this case he might plead, like Oedipus, that his deed was inflicted on him rather than committed by him.
This pleaded for him with the old lady, aided as it was by the pride that she secretly felt in the early celebrity which the young clergyman had achieved as a writer and a preacher.
I do not pretend to plead the immunities of my order so highly as this; but neither will I allow that the author of a modern antique romance is obliged to confine himself to the introduction of those manners only which can be proved to have absolutely existed in the times he is depicting, so that he restrain himself to such as are plausible and natural, and contain no obvious anachronism.