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

Over the last three years, the number of petitions filed under the EB-5 program has fallen by more than 15% to 12,165 in the 2017 fiscal year ending in September, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "Chinese Investors Embraced Program for U.S. Residency. Not Anymore.," 4 Dec. 2018 But none of that has stopped hundreds of players from signing a couple of online petitions essentially begging Sony to keep the servers up, if only for a little while longer. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Sony keeping Warhawk, other PS3 game servers live through January [Updated]," 2 Nov. 2018 No amount of petitions or die-ins or anything else can change that. German Lopez, Vox, "The battle to stop 3D-printed guns, explained," 1 Aug. 2018 Last year, more than 70,000 Finnish people signed a petition calling for the abolition of daylight saving. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The EU Mulls Ditching Daylight Saving Time," 9 July 2018 An online petition denouncing the fuel taxes—launched by Priscillia Ludosky, an aromatherapist from a Paris suburb—soon drew more than a million signatures. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "France’s Macron, Astride the Globe, Overlooked Swelling Anger at Home," 7 Dec. 2018 At the time, 1,400 employees had signed an internal petition demanding more information about the project. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Dueling employee petitions have revealed a deep divide within Google over China," 29 Nov. 2018 Even still, an online petition is circulating calling for the city to reverse its policy. Megan Friedman, House Beautiful, "A Town in Virginia Has Set A Strict Age Limit For Trick-or-Treaters," 11 Oct. 2018 An online petition calling on Starbucks to say goodbye to plastic straws has close to 150,000 signatures. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Starbucks to scrap plastic straws globally by 2020," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

About 2,600 inmates, the majority of whom are black, would be eligible to petition for release. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "House Passes Criminal-Justice Reform Bill," 20 Dec. 2018 Following the chef’s death, fans of his TV show petitioned for its extended run on Netflix, as Parts Unknown was scheduled to be removed from the streaming service on June 16 as part of the regular rotation. PEOPLE.com, "Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown Nominated for 6 Emmy Awards After Chef's Death," 12 July 2018 The manual recount is the most extensive of four options that losing candidates can request when petitioning for a recount. baltimoresun.com, "FAQ: What you need to know about the Baltimore County recount," 10 July 2018 However, the settlement will lead to all parties petitioning for the cancellation of a trial that was expected to last four weeks. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Why It Was the Smart Decision for Eli Manning to Settle in Memorabilia Fraud Lawsuit," 15 May 2018 There is plenty to celebrate about a young man sprung from injustice and finally allowed to enjoy his liberty after five months behind bars on a parole violation deemed unfair enough that supporters from all walks of life petitioned for his release. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Making Meek Mill a temporary NBA celebrity should just be starting point for real change," 25 Apr. 2018 According to the Guardian, Mack’s attorneys will appear in court tomorrow to petition for bail. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Actress Allison Mack’s Alleged Role in Sex Cult," 22 Apr. 2018 Then, last week, GM petitioned the federal government for approval to mass-produce a car with no steering wheel or pedals—with plans to release it in 2019. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Report: GM and Waymo lead driverless car race; Tesla lags far behind," 17 Jan. 2018 After being amnestied under Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, Trillanes successfully petitioned the two Philippine courts to dismiss rebellion and coup cases, allowing him to later run for a Senate seat. Jim Gomez, The Seattle Times, "Philippine court rejects Duterte bid to have critic arrested," 22 Oct. 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

20 Jan 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 \

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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