"pleads" in the verb sense
appeal or request earnestly
"I pleaded with him to stop"
offer as an excuse or plea
"She was pleading insanity"
enter a plea, as in courts of law
"She pleaded not guilty"
make an allegation in an action or other legal proceeding, especially answer the previous pleading of the other party by denying facts therein stated or by alleging new facts
Source: WordNet® (An amazing lexical database of English)
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