noun \pə-ˈti-shən\

: a written document that many people sign to show that they want a person or organization to do or change something

: a formal written request made to an official person or organization

law : a formal written request to have a legal case decided by a court

Full Definition of PETITION

:  an earnest request :  entreaty
a :  a formal written request made to an official person or organized body (as a court)
b :  a document embodying such a formal written request
:  something asked or requested
pe·ti·tion·ary \-ˈti-shə-ˌner-ē\ adjective

Examples of PETITION

  1. They collected 2,000 signatures on a petition demanding that women be allowed to join the club.
  2. Would you like to sign our petition?
  3. We presented a petition to the legislature to change the law.
  4. She filed a petition for divorce.
  5. We ask you to hear our petition.

Origin of PETITION

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin petition-, petitio, from petere to seek, request — more at feather
First Known Use: 14th century



: to ask (a person, group, or organization) for something in a formal way

pe·ti·tionedpe·ti·tion·ing \-ˈti-sh(ə-)niŋ\

Full Definition of PETITION

transitive verb
:  to make a request to :  solicit
intransitive verb
:  to make a request; especially :  to make a formal written request
pe·ti·tion·er \-sh(ə-)nər\ noun

Examples of PETITION

  1. The organization petitioned the government to investigate the issue.
  2. All people had the right to petition the king for help.
  3. She petitioned to join their club.

First Known Use of PETITION



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Written instrument directed to an individual, government official, legislative body, or court in order to seek redress of grievances or to request a favour. In some jurisdictions, petitions brought by a sufficient number of people (represented by their signatures) are used to place a candidate on a ballot, to submit an issue to the electorate (see referendum and initiative), or to exert pressure on legislators to vote in a certain way. In the U.S., the right to petition is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.


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