Pleaded or Pled – Definition & Examples

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Is it pled guilty or pleaded guilty? You’ll be surprised to learn that you can use either one of those options for the past tense form of plead. But one is more popular than the other. I’ll explain the details and give you some examples in sentences.

Is Pled a Word?

Yes, it’s a word. It can be used interchangeably with the other past tense form of plead, which is pleaded.

Pleaded vs. Pled

Pleaded vs Pled Ngram
Pleaded and pled usage trend.

Both pleaded and pled are acceptable past tense forms of the common verb “plead.”

“Pleaded” is the more widely used past tense and past participle form of the verb plead, and “pled” is a less common variant. But both forms are considered acceptable in modern English.

Many people think that pled is the preferred term in the UK, but that’s not the case. Both are right; both are used in America, Canada, and the UK. However, Australia seems to have a hat-on for the spelling pled, so use pleaded if you’re writing for an Aussie audience.

What Is the Past Tense of Plead?

As I’ve already mentioned, the past tense of “plead” can be either “pleaded” or “pled.” Like someone could have pleaded/pled with the judge for mercy. See how both forms are used interchangeably? Neither is considered incorrect.

Is It Pled Guilty or Plead Guilty?

Pleaded or Pled Definition Examples

When we think of pleading guilty, we’ll see “pleaded” more commonly used than the variant “pled.” But, again, you can use either form if you want. They pleaded guilty, or they pled guilty; it doesn’t matter.

Pleaded Synonyms

There are several other synonyms you can use to express a similar meaning as pleaded.

  • Begged
  • Implored
  • Beseeched
  • Entreated
  • Petitioned
  • Appealed
  • Importuned

Pleaded Pronunciation

“Pleaded” is pronounced as plee-did, and you’d say “pled” as pled with a shorter “e” sound.

Sentence Examples Using Pleaded

  • I was blown away when the defendant pleaded guilty to the charges.
  • Yes, I pleaded with my son to clean up his room, but he still didn’t listen.
  • James pleaded for help, but no one rescued him, so he died.
  • The woman on the true crime show pleaded with the judge to show mercy on her behalf, but he turned her down.
  • The victim’s family pleaded for justice in court, and justice prevailed.
  • The guy who attacked me pleaded not guilty to the accusations I set against him.
  • The lawyer pleaded with the jury to consider his client’s innocence even though we all knew he was guilty.
  • I listened as my daughter’s team captain pleaded with his teammates to try their absolute best in the next game.

Sentence Examples Using Pled

  • The guy pled guilty to the charges against him.
  • I’m not surprised that the suspect pled no contest to the accusation of theft.
  • My daughter’s best friend pled with her parents to let her stay out late, but they have different curfews set than us.
  • The politician pled for donations to support his campaign in the next election.
  • I would never forgive him, but I still listened as he pled for forgiveness for his past mistakes.
  • I knew it! The defendant pled insanity in the true crime show we watched.
  • My husband pled with the doctor to find a cure for his illness.
  • The actor we represent pled with the director for a more significant role in the movie, and he proved he deserved it with an outstanding performance.

Use Your Own Digression

So, that’s what you need to know in a nutshell. Both pleaded and pled are correct for English speakers in any context. But pleaded is a more common and preferred form, and never use pled in Australia. I hope my guide has helped shed some light on these two terms!

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