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

The issue has percolated on group texts and social media platforms in the past week, and students launched at least two petitions calling for Handy to reconsider the policy. Washington Post, "The long and short of a Maryland school’s dress code sparks protest," 18 Sep. 2019 He was sentenced to five days in jail and required to go through a DUI program, according to the judge’s order denying Bello’s petition. Los Angeles Times, "An immigrant poet and activist faced deportation by ICE. Then two NFL players bailed him out," 16 Sep. 2019 One lead member of that group, which organized to draft Kennedy into the race, gave the Newton Democrat his own shirt, while volunteers circulated, gathering signatures for the group’s petition urging Kennedy to run. BostonGlobe.com, "At the convention, activists offered divided views on the prospect of a Kennedy-Markey showdown.," 15 Sep. 2019 Several residents spoke against the installation of multiple 5G cell towers in the city and a petition against the towers was presented. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How they voted, Sept. 15," 15 Sep. 2019 Online petitions asking prosecutors to upgrade the charges against Huynh have received more than 330,000 signatures, the Times reported. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Long Island man who strangled neighbor's pit bull faces animal cruelty charge," 14 Sep. 2019 More significantly, the candidates need to start passing petitions next month to get their delegates on the ballot. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "Illinois primary’s not until St. Patrick’s Day, but ballot requirements present early challenge to large field of Democratic presidential contenders," 13 Sep. 2019 In 2018, Daniel Horgan, a local real estate agent and mortgage broker, unsuccessfully circulated a petition seeking to ban semiautomatic and automatic guns in the city. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Divorced H.B. man again seeks to reform California’s ‘outdated’ alimony law," 11 Sep. 2019 Since the boy’s death that February, two petitions for protection had been filed, including a request for emergency protection, yet the children were still living with their mother when the girl ran away. Amy Forliti, Twin Cities, "Charges: Woman locked son, 8, in cold garage, killing him," 11 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In front of a crowd of nearly 40 residents, Kite Realty Group, the developer of the 7-building complex, petitioned the commission to modify the covernants that specifically prohibited development in the parking lot, just west of Rural Road. Cortlynn Stark, Indianapolis Star, "City undoes 50-year protection to pave way for apartments near Glendale Target," 4 Sep. 2019 The charter twice petitioned to operate in the Ocean View School District — in October 2016 and last September. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Sycamore Creek Community Charter School to open at Oak View Elementary campus in H.B. this year," 14 Aug. 2019 In Connecticut and Indiana, only law enforcement may petition the court for an order to confiscate firearms. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Calls grow for 'red flag' gun laws after El Paso massacre, but shooter didn’t set off alarms," 7 Aug. 2019 The developers, however, successfully petitioned the state high court to suspend the committee’s proceedings. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "Renewable energy firms are knocking on all doors to rein in one of India’s youngest chief ministers," 30 July 2019 Within 60 days of the county commissioners making their appointments, citizens may petition to put forth their own slate of alternative appointees, which would lead to a special election. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Charter government pros and cons examined as Carroll County commissioners prepare to hear options," 24 July 2019 The drug maker petitioned the justices to consider whether a California court decision to coordinate the cases triggered the Class Action Fairness Act’s threshold for federal jurisdiction over mass actions involving more than 100 plaintiffs. STAT, "Pharmalittle: Judge appears to back push for opioid settlement; the CRISPR patent fight lives on," 26 June 2019 Almost all 21 villages in Bera had originally petitioned for the community reserve, but several villages have changed their minds. National Geographic, "This Indian community welcomes leopards," 22 Mar. 2019 Judge Alsup next argues that DAPA and DACA are different because citizen children can petition for citizenship for their parents, whereas the Dreamers had no pathway to lawful presence. Josh Blackman, National Review, "A Ludicrous Ruling That Trump Can’t End DACA," 10 Jan. 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

13 Oct 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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