petition

noun
pe·​ti·​tion | \pə-ˈti-shən \

Definition of petition 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an earnest request : entreaty

2a : a formal written request made to an official person or organized body (such as a court)

b : a document embodying such a formal written request

3 : something asked or requested

petition

verb
petitioned; petitioning\ pə-​ˈti-​sh(ə-​)niŋ \

Definition of petition (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make a request to : solicit

intransitive verb

: to make a request especially : to make a formal written request

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Other Words from petition

Noun

petitionary \ pə-​ˈti-​shə-​ˌner-​ē \ adjective

Verb

petitioner \ pə-​ˈti-​sh(ə-​)nər \ noun

Examples of petition in a Sentence

Noun

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

Verb

The organization petitioned the government to investigate the issue. All people had the right to petition the king for help. She petitioned to join their club.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The court would then have 10 days to hold a formal hearing on the petition and in the interim could order the police to keep custody of the weapons. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "Legislature could soon move ‘red flag’ gun bill to Baker’s desk," 28 June 2018 In regular session, the board held public hearings on a petition for Bridges Preparatory Charter School; and on the 2018-19 Local Control and Accountability Plan and budget. Laura Groch, sandiegouniontribune.com, "How they voted, June 24," 24 June 2018 In April, Crone said that a minimum of 50 signatures is needed on an annexation petition. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Firethorne resident to circulate annexation petition," 22 June 2018 Twenty-three moderate Republicans, who’ve been joined by almost all Democrats, need just three more signatures on a petition that would put four different immigration bills on the floor -- against the wishes of GOP leaders. Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg.com, "House GOP Meets Again on Immigration as Deal Remains Elusive," 12 June 2018 The Body Shop is also asking for signatures on a petition to the United Nations that will seek to end animal testing in cosmetics worldwide in the next two years. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "These New Cruelty-Free Bodywashes Smell Like a Vacation," 8 June 2018 House leaders rarely lose control of the floor via a discharge petition campaign. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Paul Ryan scrambles to calm GOP insurrection over immigration," 7 June 2018 How the justices act on the petition in the case, called Arlene Flowers v. Washington, could offer hints about how quickly other such challenges pitting religious liberty versus LGBT rights return to the high court. CNN, "Supreme Court considering taking same-sex wedding flowers case," 7 June 2018 The application form has been significantly simplified and now only one member of a facility’s institutional review board needs to sign off on the petition. Vibhav Rangarajan, STAT, "The ‘cruel joke’ of compassionate use and right to try: Pharma companies don’t have to comply," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Celestine, the sister of Jeremiah and Ciera's father, petitioned to adopt the children in May 2007. Joe Heim And Julie Tate, chicagotribune.com, "As children begged for help, adoption system failed them," 13 July 2018 After the justices decided Harris, Mr. Messenger petitioned the courts for the refund of some $32 million in fees the SEIU had wrongly collected from home-care workers. James Taranto, WSJ, "The Lawyers Who Beat the Unions," 29 June 2018 Next, the police department petitioned the Supreme Court to hear its appeal of the judgment. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore set to approve $2 million settlement to man mistaken as 'Charles Village rapist'," 25 June 2018 The group petitioned the council in April, asking it to force Valley Metro to include four lanes in the light-rail design. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Chaos in Phoenix over light-rail extension derails city budget," 20 June 2018 Strong petitioned Lake Superior Court to set a recount on May 21. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "Strong concedes Lake County primary race to GOP challenger," 19 June 2018 One Rock then petitioned the Commerce Department to deploy federal trade and tariff laws to make newsprint as much as 32 percent more expensive per metric ton. Erin Arvedlund, Philly.com, "Trump's commerce department put a tariff on Canadian paper that jacked up all U.S. newsprint prices," 11 June 2018 With the junior team having only seven players available Sunday after playing Saturday’s OT game with just seven, English petitioned the all-star director to let Jones to play. Paul Shepherd, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Junior All-Stars get boost from Dawand Jones, but are swept by Kentucky juniors," 3 June 2018 Several lawmakers have petitioned to pardon Johnson on the grounds that his conviction was unjust. Panama Jackson, The Root, "Trump Considers 'Full Pardon' of Boxer Jack Johnson After Sylvester Stallone Phone Call. Call Him Again, Sly," 22 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'petition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of petition

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1607, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for petition

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin petition-, petitio, from petere to seek, request — more at feather

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Statistics for petition

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for petition

The first known use of petition was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for petition

petition

verb

English Language Learners Definition of petition

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

petition

noun
pe·​ti·​tion | \pə-ˈti-shən \

Kids Definition of petition

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an earnest appeal

2 : a formal written request made to an authority

petition

verb
petitioned; petitioning

Kids Definition of petition (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make an often formal request to or for

Other Words from petition

petitioner noun

petition

noun
pe·​ti·​tion

Legal Definition of petition 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a formal written request made to an official person or body (as a court or board) a petition for equitable relief the creditor filed a petition for involuntary bankruptcy

2 : a document embodying a formal written request

petition

transitive verb

Legal Definition of petition (Entry 2 of 2)

: to direct a petition to petition the court

intransitive verb

: to make a petition petition for relief

Other Words from petition

petitioner noun

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Comments on petition

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