plead for

plead for

1. To beg someone or appeal in earnest to someone's good nature for something to happen or be granted. The prisoner threw himself at the king's feet, pleading for his life. Daniel pleaded for a bit more time to finish the project, but the boss went ahead and fired him for the delay.
2. To beg someone or appeal in earnest to someone's good nature for someone to be spared some fate or treatment. The mother pleaded for her son, but the king had him executed on the spot. She pleaded for her brother when their mother threatened to whip him with the belt.
See also: for, plead
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

plead for someone

to beg for someone to be spared. Tom pleaded for Dave, but it was no use. Dave was found guilty. She pleaded for her husband, but the judge sentenced him to ten years in prison.
See also: for, plead

plead for something

to beg for something. I don't want to have to plead for what's already mine. The children were pleading for ice cream, so we got some for them.
See also: for, plead
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
It is not to be doubted, that a single man of prudence and good sense is better fitted, in delicate conjunctures, to balance the motives which may plead for and against the remission of the punishment, than any numerous body whatever.
Finding it unnecessary to plead for the Tullivers, it was natural that aunt Pullet should relax a little in her anxiety for them, and recur to the annoyance she had suffered yesterday from the offspring of that apparently ill-fated house.