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Pleaded vs. Plead—Which is Correct? (Grammar + Examples)

The word pleaded is the past tense of the word plead. Pleaded is also the past participle version of the word plead. There is common confusion about which version of the past tense should be used in a sentence – pleaded or pled. You might have finished writing a sentence when you notice that something seems off with the grammar.

We’ll look at when to use pleaded and when to use plead. Once we know the meaning of both the words and their use, this should be much clearer.

Plead vs pleaded
Plead vs pleaded

Difference Between Pleaded, Pled, and Plea

“Pleaded” is the past tense version of the word “plead”. An alternative to the word pleaded is the word pled. Although the word pled is in use in many places, guides and dictionaries suggest using pleaded instead. It is the more accurate past tense of the word plead.

Another version of the word plead is the word plea. The word Plea means answering a claim created by a person. It is usually used in terms of a court case or any criminal proceeding. 

Pleadmake an emotional appeal.
Pleaded (past tense of plead)make an emotional appeal.

Meaning of “Plead” or “Pled”

According to Merriam-Webster, the word plead has the meaning of arguing or insisting upon or against a claim. The word is also used in association with “pleading” a case in court. The Cambridge dictionary states that the word “Plead” means making a frantic request for something. It is usually used when someone is being emotional.

The past tense of the word – pleaded, means having once made an appeal or request for something in the past.

Common synonyms of the word plead include terms like appeal, request, and beseech.


The word plead is beloved to have been used for the first time in the 13th century in the English language. The etymology of the word comes from the Middle English term – plaiden or pleden, both of which had the same meaning as plead today. It was derived from the Anglo-French words plaider, pleider, or pleder. The Anglo-French version of the word meant bringing an argument against something. This version of the word comes from the old French derivative plaid or plé

The medieval Latin version of the word plead was known as placitare, which came from the late Latin term placitum, which meant a lawsuit. All these earlier versions of the word plead had the same meaning the word has today.

The various versions of the word that are in use now include: Pleaded, pleading, and pleadingly.

Sentence Examples

You might understand the difference between the two words better with some examples. Some common sentences with the word plead are:

Plead for mercy from the king! The jesters cried.”

“Do you plead guilty? The judge asked”

Pleaded, as mentioned above, is the past tense of the word plead. Some common sentences that use the word are:

“She pleaded for a better sentence”

“The child cried and pleaded, but the judge did not change her mind”

“I pleaded and wept, but they wouldn’t let me out”


We have talked about what the word plead means and its past tense use as well. Now you can use both these words in sentences without making an error! You can try saying the sentence out loud if you feel like you need to be more sure about which version of the word to use.


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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