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A defendant’s response to the charges made against them, it can be any of the following: guilty; not guilty; or nolo contendere.


 

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
plea (noun)
1.
a legal suit or action
2.
an allegation made by a party in support of a cause as
a) an allegation of fact - compare demurrer
b) (1) a defendant's answer to a plaintiff's declaration in common-law practice
(2) an accused person's answer to a charge or indictment in criminal practice
c) a plea of guilty to an indictment
3.
something offered by way of excuse or justification - left early with the plea of a headache
4.
an earnest entreaty - appeal their plea for understanding must be answered apology
Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
plea (noun)
1.
an earnest request
SYNONYMS:
adjuration, appeal, conjuration, cry, desire, entreaty, petition, pleading, prayer, solicitation, suit, suppliance, supplication
RELATED WORDS:
application, requisition; call, claim, demand, insistence
plea (noun)
2.
an explanation that frees one from fault or blame
SYNONYMS:
alibi, apology, defense, justification, plea, reason
RELATED WORDS:
color, guise, pretense ( pretence), pretext, rationale, rationalization, vindication, whitewash; cop-out, out; acknowledgment ( acknowledgement), atonement, confession; extenuation, palliation
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