Legal Definition and Related Resources of Pleading

Meaning of Pleading

A written statement delivered by a party to a cause containing a concise statement of the material facts upon which such party relies. A pleading should not contain the evidence by which the material facts pleaded are to be proved, although no Averment must be omitted which is essential to success and such averment ought not to be left to mere inference or mere implication to be deducted from the form in which the pleading is framed. The object of the pleading is to ascertain definitely what are the issues between the parties . Another object is to put the opponent on notice of the case that he has to meet. See federal Rules of civil procedure 7(a), appendix 2.

Pleading Alternative Definition

In Chancery Practice’. Consists in making the formal written allegations or statements of the respective parties on the record to maintain the suit, or to defeat it, of which, when contested in matters of fact, they propose to offer proofs, and in matters of law to offer arguments to the court. Story, Eq. PI. § 4, note. The substantial object of pleading is the same, but the forms and rules of pleading are very different, at law and in equity. In Civil Practice. The stating in a logical and legal form the facts which constitute the plaintiff’s cause of action or the defendant’s ground of defense. It is the formal mode of alleging that on the record which constitutes the support or the defense of the party in evidence. 3 Term R. 159; Doug. 278; Comyn, Dig. Pleader (A); Bac. Abr. Pleas and Pleading; Comp. 682. Pleading is used to denote the act of making the pleadings. In Criminal Practice. The rules of pleading are the same as in civil practice. There is, however, less liberty of amendment of the indictment. The order of the defendant’s pleading is as follows: First, to the jurisdiction; second, in abatement; third, special pleas in bar, as former jeopardy or pardon; fourth, the general issue. See, generally, Lawes, Chitty, Stephen, and Gould on Pleading; 3 Bl. Comm. 301 et seq., and notes; Co. Litt. 303; Comyn, Dig. Pleader; Bac. Abr. Plea and Pleading.

Pleading Legal Definition

The formal allegations by the parties of their respective claims and defenses.

Synonyms of Pleading


  • accusation
  • allegation
  • allegation of facts
  • answer
  • argument
  • claim
  • complaint
  • counterstatement
  • defendant’s answer to charges
  • defense
  • denial
  • formal assertion
  • formal averment
  • plaintiffs allegations
  • plea
  • rebuttal
  • reply
  • responsive allegations
  • statement of defense
  • written statement of defense
  • written statements of accusation
  • Associated Concepts: alternative pleading
  • amendment to a pleading
  • amplication of the pleadings
  • argumentative pleading
  • blind pleading
  • clarification of the pleading
  • defect in the pleading
  • demurrer
  • failure to state a cause of action
  • failure to state a claim
  • formal pleading
  • frivolous pleading
  • inconsistent pleadings
  • liberal construction of pleadings
  • motion to correct pleadings
  • motion to dismiss the pleading
  • petition
  • prejudicial pleading
  • privileged pleadings
  • responsive pleading
  • scandalous pleading
  • sham pleading
  • supplemental pleading
  • verified pleading foreign phrases: Placita negativa duo exitum non faciunt
  • Two negative pleas do not make an issue
  • Quinon negatfatetur
  • He who does not deny
  • admits
  • Ambigua responsio contra proferentem est accipienda
  • An ambiguous answer is to be taken against him who offers it

Related Entries of Pleading in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Pleading in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Pleading in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Pleading in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Pleading in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Alternative Pleadings, Amended Pleading, Answer, Argument, , Caption, Claim, Collateral Matter, Confession And Avoidance, Continuance, Declaration, Default, Defense, Delivery, Demur, Demurrable, Demurrer, Departure, Fictio, Forms Of Action, Frivolous, General Demurrer, Impertinence, Innuendo, Instance, Jeofaile, Jeopardy, Joinder Of Issue, Nominal Party, Prolixity, Rejoinder, Replication, Self-defense, Special Demurrer, Standing Mute.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Pleading in the Dictionary Pleading in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Pleading
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Related topics Pleading in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Pleading is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Pleading (more about URIs)

English Spanish Translation of Pleading

Escrito (para demanda, contestación o reconvención)

Find other English to Spanish translations from the Pocket Spanish English Legal Dictionary (print and online), the English to Spanish to English dictionaries (like Pleading) and the Word reference legal translator.


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Civil Procedure.
  • Pleading



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