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

Three Demands In the petition, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice—the group of workers organizing the walkout—outlined three specific demands for the company and its CEO, Jeff Bezos. Wired, "Amazon Employees Will Walk Out Over the Company's Climate Change Inaction," 9 Sep. 2019 The station started a petition drive and quickly collected more than 60,000 signatures; eventually, more than 73,000 people would sign it. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The first time the Who played the Milwaukee area, it took a radio DJ's stunt to get them here," 5 Sep. 2019 The move comes as some have launched a petition drive to persuade the University of Michigan to open up several files of Tanton of Petoskey, who died last month at the age of 85. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "University of Michigan fights to keep sealed files of anti-immigrant leader," 29 Aug. 2019 But if the court approves it, Citizens for Energy Choices also would have to submit 766,200 valid petition signatures to the state by a February deadline to get on the 2020 ballot. Jim Saunders, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida justices question wording of utility amendment’s summary," 28 Aug. 2019 Hartmann has been a key organizer of a petition drive to get a question on the November ballot that could potentially block the city’s current approach toward organized trash collection. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "28 candidates file for 7 seats on the St. Paul City Council, and here they are," 25 Aug. 2019 The Travis County Republican Party has organized a petition drive calling for the policy to be rescinded, and local party leaders are trying to put it on the ballot next spring. Tim Craig, Anchorage Daily News, "Should people have a legal right to sleep on city streets? The nation’s homeless crisis sparks a partisan battle.," 23 Aug. 2019 But neither group is involved in the court petition. Dakota Smith, latimes.com, "L.A. agreed to let homeless people keep their skid row belongings. That could change," 5 July 2019 According to a court petition for bond, Schmitt received commendation medals during his time in the US Army and had served in Macedonia and Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping mission. Christine Pelisek, PEOPLE.com, "Georgia Lawyer Allegedly Runs Over, Kills Dad of 2 Who Threw Golf Ball at His Mercedes: DA," 27 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Trump administration blames the Flores agreement for the large number of families — the majority Central Americans who petition for asylum — crossing the border each month. Tatiana Sanchez, SFChronicle.com, "Trump administration moves to extend detention times for immigrant families," 21 Aug. 2019 The group that petitioned to move Halloween to the last Saturday of October has a new proposal: Rather than change the date, why not add a whole extra day of spooks and haunts? Scottie Andrew And Brian Ries, CNN, "The people behind that Halloween petition want to create a new holiday: National Trick or Treat Day," 31 July 2019 Voters would have to petition for a rollback election this year and next. Dallas News, "Is your government running up the score in the last days of the old property tax law by raising taxes?," 16 Aug. 2019 Hudson signed with Michigan in 2017 before transferring in October and petitioning for an immediate eligibility waiver. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Luke Fickell: Call with Jim Harbaugh about James Hudson was 'cold,' 'short'," 14 Aug. 2019 Board hears feedback After Rice’s presentation, five community members spoke to the board on varying issues, but the topics had an overall theme of petitioning the board for more budget deliberation. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "Conroe ISD teacher raises, lower taxes remain in plans as budget process continues," 8 Aug. 2019 Quarles petitioned in 2016 for conditional release from the hospital under supervision back in San Diego County. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sexually violent predator will be released to supervised home in San Diego County," 29 July 2019 Trump after successfully petitioning for the commutation of a life sentence for Alice Marie Johnson, a nonviolent drug offender. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Kim Kardashian West Visits 'Slam' Actor Momolu Stewart in Prison," 25 July 2019 In recent years, the number of migrants petitioning for asylum has skyrocketed. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, "Trump’s Latest Attempt to Bar Asylum Seekers Is Blocked After a Day of Dueling Rulings," 24 July 2019

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

15 Sep 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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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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