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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Plead \Plead\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Pleaded (colloq. Pleador Pled); p. pr. & vb. n. Pleading.] [OE. pleden, plaiden, OF. plaidier, F. plaider, fr. LL. placitare, fr. placitum. See Plea.] 1. To argue in support of a claim, or in defense against the claim of another; to urge reasons for or against a thing; to attempt to persuade one by argument or supplication; to speak by way of persuasion; as, to plead for the life of a criminal; to plead with a judge or with a father. [1913 Webster] O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor! --Job xvi. 21. [1913 Webster] 2. (Law) To present an answer, by allegation of fact, to the declaration of a plaintiff; to deny the plaintiff's declaration and demand, or to allege facts which show that ought not to recover in the suit; in a less strict sense, to make an allegation of fact in a cause; to carry on the allegations of the respective parties in a cause; to carry on a suit or plea. --Blackstone. Burrill. Stephen. [1913 Webster] 3. To contend; to struggle. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]