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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Plede, Pleid, v. Also: pled; pleyd; plead(e; pleed; plaid. P.t. also plaid. [ME. and e.m.E. pleden (Wyclif), pled (1455), plead (1531), also pledde (1490–1), AF. pleder, med. L. placitare to hold pleas, litigate (c 800 in Du Cange). Cf. ME. and e.m.E. playden (c 1250), plaidi (c 1305), p.p. i-pleyd (c 1460), p.t. pled (1596), plead (1659), f. OF. plaidier to go to law, sue, plead, f. OF. plaid Pley n., Plede n. Cf. also ME. and e.m.E. pleity (1315), pleten (Piers Plowman), pleate (1502), OF. plaitier, med. L. plaitare, f. placitare.The vocalism indicated by the rhymes agrees with that of the noun.]

To plead, in the usual senses.

1. intr. To maintain or urge the claim of a party to a suit (to, for the thing claimed); to plead, as an advocate, in a law-court (for the person represented or the case presented).(1) c 1400 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 51.
The Kyngis Counsale is na cowrte to plede for na herytage na lyfe na lym in
1429–30 James I Acts in Ayr B. Ct. 6 Mar.
He … sal swere that … the caus is gude … that he sal plede for Acts pleid, see 4 below]
(2) 1429 Acts II. 19/1.
That advocatis & forspekaris in temperaile courtis pledande and alsua the partiis at thai pleid for [etc.]
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 67.
Justice pleades ever for the partie absent
(b) 1670 Lauder Jrnl. 213.
Mr. Alexander Spotswood plaiding in the criminall court for Wedderburne

b. In extended sense: To plead or beg (for something). a1585 Maitl. Q. lxxxv. 2.
If Sapho … Did pleid for prais & place amangs the nyne [etc.]

2. To put forward a plea in a law-suit.1429 Acts II. 19/1 (see 1 (2) above). 1564 St. A. Kirk S. 210.
The said Jonat and I beand befoir your wysdomis pledand in the said caus
1622-6 Bisset I. 174/10.
Be ressone of the personis pleydand that is the persewer or defender
1658 Glasgow B. Rec. II. 400.
To imploy advocattis … to pleid in law for defence thairof

b. In non-legal contexts: To make an earnest appeal; to implore. — 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 171.
I weip, I waill, I plene, I cry, I pleid [: remeid, deid a., reid n. (= counsel)]
1611-57 Mure Early Misc. P. iii. i.
To pleid bot quhair mutuel kyndnes is gain'd [etc.] … I ewer disdain'd

3. To contend, in debate, also ? physically, (with or against another); to argue; to wrangle; ? to struggle with.(a) c1420 Ratis R. 972.
Pled nocht bot for thine awn honore
1456 Hay I. 125/11.
And tharfore will we nocht lang plede in the mater contrair
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) (ed.) 1752.
Quha haid him slane thai mycht nocht byde to pled [: dede a.]
(b) c1460 Consail Vys Man 125.
But greit profyt schaip nocht to pleid
1461 Liber Plusc. 388. c1500-c1512 Dunb. lix. 5.
Sen he plesis with me to pleid I sall him knawin mak hyne to Calys
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii. 306.
Quhat than gif thay of my craft with me pleid?
a1561 Norvell Meroure 12 b.
Thou hast no power to … againes them pleid [: reid v. (= read)]
1567 G. Ball. 69.
Quha dar againe him [God] pleid? For he hes vincust sin and hell
a1568 Bann. MS. 286 b/2.
My will expres with ressoun pleidis [: leidis v., feidis n. (= feuds), remeid is]
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1243.
Pleid with your peirs, quo Parkie

4. tr. To maintain (a plea or cause) by argument, or to debate or dispute upon (a question), in a court of law.Also in fig. context. c1420 Wynt. viii. 553.
In till his [the King's] court … This matere [W. cais] suld be … Befor hym pledyt as oure-lard
1429 Acts II. 19/1.
In all causis that thai plede … he sal suere that … the cause is gude and lele that he sal pleid
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 49.
Gif this caus wer to be pleidit befoir … Cato [etc.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i. 119.
The complaints … in the burrow court sould be pleaded … before the justitiar
1665 Lauder Jrnl. 90.
He never lost a cause … because he never plaid one
fig. a1585 Maitl. Q. lxxxix. 21.
Laking that grace my cause to pleid [: deid n. (death), heid n., confeid v. (= confide)]

5. To sue (a person) (in or for a piece of land) in order to obtain possession; to take to law. 1431 Highland P. II. 167.
Gyf ony wald vex thaim or pled thaim in the rychtis of the saide landis
c1575 Balfour Pract. 199.
Gif ony man be pleidit and persewit for onyland or tenement

b. To plede (a person) out, to have expelled from a property by legal action. 1456 Hay I. 133/28.
Than semys it to men of lawe that he suld be pledit out be forme of lawe, bot myn opynioun is trewly that he may … put him out be force of armes

6. To plead for, entreat for; ? to gain or win, as by pleading. 1611-57 Mure Dido & Æneas ii. 4.
Æneas' vertue … in her ravisht minde a place doth pleed [: feed v.]
? 1615 Old Ross-shire II. 7.
Both the estate itself and the minor quha is to succeid thair to … pleidis the favor of freindis
a1650 Row 190 (W).
If a minister throw povertie be not able to plead his gleeb and manse [etc.]

7. a. To put forward as a plea in a law-suit. Const. noun cl. obj.. b. In extended use: To allege as an excuse or in extenuation.a. 1682 Lauder Observes 305.
Those for him pleaded that he could be guilty of nather
b. 1588 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 7 Mar.
Quhairby na persoun sall plead ignorance of the samein act
c1590 Fowler I. 69/59.
Bot Pittie than did pleade remorse

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"Plede v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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