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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [plea]

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plea

PLEA, n. [L. lis, litis.]

1. In law, that which is alleged by a party in support of his demand; but in a more limited and technical sense, the answer of the defendant to the plaintiff's declaration and demand. That which the plaintiff alleges in his declaration is answered and repelled or justified by the defendant's plea. Pleas are dilatory, or pleas to the action. Dilatory pleas, are to the jurisdiction of the court, to the disability of the plaintiff, or in abatement. Pleas to the action are an answer to the merits of the complaint, which confesses or denies it. Pleas that deny the plaintiff's complaint or demand, are the general issue, which denies the whole declaration; or special pleas in bar, which state something which precludes the plaintiff's right of recovery.

2. A cause in court; a lawsuit, or a criminal process; as the pleas of the crown; the court of common pleas.

The supreme judicial court shall have cognizance of pleas real, personal and mixed.

3. That which is alleged in defense or justification; an excuse; an apology; as the tyrant's plea.

When such occasions are,

No plea must serve; 'tis cruelty to spare.

4. Urgent prayer or entreaty.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [plea]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

PLEA, n. [L. lis, litis.]

1. In law, that which is alleged by a party in support of his demand; but in a more limited and technical sense, the answer of the defendant to the plaintiff's declaration and demand. That which the plaintiff alleges in his declaration is answered and repelled or justified by the defendant's plea. Pleas are dilatory, or pleas to the action. Dilatory pleas, are to the jurisdiction of the court, to the disability of the plaintiff, or in abatement. Pleas to the action are an answer to the merits of the complaint, which confesses or denies it. Pleas that deny the plaintiff's complaint or demand, are the general issue, which denies the whole declaration; or special pleas in bar, which state something which precludes the plaintiff's right of recovery.

2. A cause in court; a lawsuit, or a criminal process; as the pleas of the crown; the court of common pleas.

The supreme judicial court shall have cognizance of pleas real, personal and mixed.

3. That which is alleged in defense or justification; an excuse; an apology; as the tyrant's plea.

When such occasions are,

No plea must serve; 'tis cruelty to spare.

4. Urgent prayer or entreaty.

PLEA, n. [Norm. plait, plet, plaid, ple; plur. pliz, pleytz; Fr. plaider, to plead; plaidoyer, a plea; It. piato, a plea; piatire, to plead; Sp. pleyto, dispute; pleytear, to plead; pleyteador, a pleader; Port. pleito, pleitear; D. pleit, pleiten. The Spanish word pleyto signifies a dispute, contest, debate, lawsuit, and a covenant, contract or bargain, and pleyta is a plaited strand of brass. The Portuguese verb pleitear signifies to plead, to go to law, to strive or vie. The elements of this word are probably Ld or Pld. In the sense of pleading, the word accords with the Gr. λιτη, and in that of striving, with the L. lis, litis.]

  1. In law, that which is alledged by a party in support of his demand; but in a more limited and technical sense, the answer of the defendant to the plaintif's declaration and demand. That which the plaintif alledges in his declaration is answered and repelled or justified by the defendant's plea. Pleas are dilatory, or pleas to the action. Dilatory pleas are to the jurisdiction of the court, to the disability of the plaintif, or in abatement. Pleas to the action are an answer to the merits of the complaint, which confesses or denies it. Pleas that deny the plaintif's complaint or demand, are the general issue, which denies the whole declaration; or special pleas in bar, which state something which precludes the plaintif's right of recovery.
  2. A cause in court; a lawsuit, or a criminal process; as, the pleas of the crown; the court of common pleas. The supreme judicial court shall have cognizance of pleas real, personal and mixed. – Laws of Mass.
  3. That which is alledged in defense or justification; an excuse; an apology; as, the tyrant's plea. When such occasions are, / No plea must serve; 'tis cruelty to spare. – Denham.
  4. Urgent prayer or entreaty.

Plea
  1. That which is alleged by a party in support of his cause; in a stricter sense, an allegation of fact in a cause, as distinguished from a demurrer; in a still more limited sense, and in modern practice, the defendant's answer to the plaintiff's declaration and demand. That which the plaintiff alleges in his declaration is answered and repelled or justified by the defendant's plea. In chancery practice, a plea is a special answer showing or relying upon one or more things as a cause why the suit should be either dismissed, delayed, or barred. In criminal practice, the plea is the defendant's formal answer to the indictment or information presented against him.
  2. A cause in court; a lawsuit; as, the Court of Common Pleas. See under Common.

    The Supreme Judicial Court shall have cognizance of pleas real, personal, and mixed. Laws of Massachusetts.

  3. That which is alleged or pleaded, in defense or in justification; an excuse; an apology.

    "Necessity, the tyrant's plea." Milton.

    No plea must serve; 't is cruelty to spare. Denham.

  4. An urgent prayer or entreaty.

    Pleas of the crown (Eng. Law), criminal actions.

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Plea

PLEA, noun [Latin lis, litis.]

1. In law, that which is alleged by a party in support of his demand; but in a more limited and technical sense, the answer of the defendant to the plaintiff's declaration and demand. That which the plaintiff alleges in his declaration is answered and repelled or justified by the defendant's plea Pleas are dilatory, or pleas to the action. Dilatory pleas, are to the jurisdiction of the court, to the disability of the plaintiff, or in abatement. Pleas to the action are an answer to the merits of the complaint, which confesses or denies it. Pleas that deny the plaintiff's complaint or demand, are the general issue, which denies the whole declaration; or special pleas in bar, which state something which precludes the plaintiff's right of recovery.

2. A cause in court; a lawsuit, or a criminal process; as the pleas of the crown; the court of common pleas.

The supreme judicial court shall have cognizance of pleas real, personal and mixed.

3. That which is alleged in defense or justification; an excuse; an apology; as the tyrant's plea

When such occasions are,

No plea must serve; 'tis cruelty to spare.

4. Urgent prayer or entreaty.

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Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

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