petition

noun
pe·​ti·​tion | \ pə-ˈti-shən How to pronounce petition (audio) \

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 How to pronounce petitioning (audio) \

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 How to pronounce petitionary (audio) \ adjective

Verb

petitioner \ pə-​ˈti-​sh(ə-​)nər How to pronounce petitioner (audio) \ 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

Republicans have a 236-197 House majority, but only one House Republican has signed the petition. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Net neutrality bill 38 votes short in Congress, and time has almost run out," 11 Dec. 2018 Earlier in the day, Ardern spoke to hundreds of people gathered in Auckland, telling them her own great-great-grandmother had signed the petition for women to get the vote back in 1893. Nick Perry, Fox News, "New Zealand celebrates 125 years of women having the vote," 19 Sep. 2018 But in the months following its unveiling, 1.2 million users around the world signed a petition begging the company to reconsider. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Snapchat’s redesign cost it millions of users," 7 Aug. 2018 The House Republican caucus quickly took to Facebook, claiming credit for Herring’s decision after thousands signed a petition in support of the move. Laura Vozzella, BostonGlobe.com, "Va. seeks to dismiss suit challenging abortion restrictions," 14 July 2018 Over the last two days, nearly 500 Yale Law alumni, students and faculty members … have signed a petition criticizing Yale for celebrating its alumnus’s nomination. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018 As of Wednesday evening, almost 900 people had signed the petition. Tessa Weinberg, chicagotribune.com, "A nighttime drowning in Lake Michigan - and no city lifeguards on duty prompts calls for change," 12 July 2018 More than 3,900 people have signed a petition in support of Crosland. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, "Idaho teacher accused of animal cruelty pleads not guilty at court appearance Tuesday," 10 July 2018 A few dozen people have signed the petition so far. John Greenfield, Chicago Reader, "So long Ofo: Bike-share company is leaving Chicago because of lock requirements," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The board had also petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court before settling last year. Ben Finley, The Seattle Times, "Virginia district split over ending transgender bathroom ban," 19 Feb. 2019 Thousands seek to enter the U.S. each year, either by petitioning for asylum or by crossing the border illegally. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Why Are People Fleeing Central America? A New Breed of Gangs Is Taking Over.," 2 Nov. 2018 FirstEnergy, a power corporation whose coal and nuclear units are under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, petitioned the DOE to use this power in April. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Trump’s coal rescue is getting more complicated," 16 Oct. 2018 The city has also petitioned the state Legislature requesting that the same room tax paid by visitors staying at hotels and inns in Salem be charged to staying in short-term rentals. John Laidler, BostonGlobe.com, "Salem residents can offer input on short-term rentals ordinance," 20 June 2018 Among nuclear power companies that could lose out if tariffs are imposed is FirstEnergy Corp., which filed for bankruptcy in April and petitioned the Department of Energy to bail it out. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "US considers tariffs on uranium imports," 22 July 2018 Six years later, both had fallen into disrepair and a new group of users petitioned Newbold Morris, so unyielding on Kahn and Noguchi’s plans for Riverside Park, for improvements, like adding a rubber safety surface under the equipment. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "How not to cheat children: Let them build their own playgrounds," 18 July 2018 Chinese diplomats have petitioned several governments in their capitals against attacking Beijing’s Xinjiang policies at the United Nations, according to diplomats briefed on the matter. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "China Intensifies Lobbying to Thwart Criticism of Muslim Detentions," 11 Jan. 2019 The Colville Tribe had petitioned the Environment Protection Agency in 1999 to hold Teck responsible for contaminating the river that drains into Lake Roosevelt. Agueda Pacheco-flores, The Seattle Times, "Appeals court sides with Colville Tribe against Canadian mining company for polluting Upper Columbia River," 25 Sep. 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

14 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce petition (audio) \

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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not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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