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 If the Court grants the petition for a writ of certiorari, this order shall terminate when the Court enters its judgment. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The Supreme Court just green lighted the Trump administration’s asylum restrictions, for now," 12 Sep. 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Park purists have been pushing back against the shift for years now, petitioning against new additions like a controversial Starbucks that opened in Yosemite last year, and protesting any plan that would put profit over preservation. Gabrielle Canon, USA TODAY, "Trump Administration considers Amazon deliveries and food trucks in national parks," 4 Nov. 2019 Keller and Guevara are working on language to petition the UAW to implement the appropriate articles to try the implicated leaders and have a special convention to vote in new leadership. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "2 UAW members have plan to clean out 'corrupt' leadership amid federal probe," 2 Nov. 2019 Meade said his group is helping people petition the courts to reduce their fees and fines while also raising cash to pay off what others owe. NBC News, "A year after ex-felons in Florida got their voting rights back, obstacles remain," 2 Nov. 2019 Hundreds of employees at companies such as Microsoft and Deloitte Consulting have petitioned their organizations to end their contracts with ICE. Christina Goldbaum, New York Times, "A Taco Truck in Buffalo Served Lunch to ICE Workers. Then Came the Backlash.," 28 Oct. 2019 In the 1730s the Shakespeare Ladies’ Club, a group of aristocratic women, petitioned theatre owners to stage his plays rather than foreign operas. The Economist, "When was greatness thrust upon William Shakespeare?," 26 Oct. 2019 Lewis sent his first email to White Castle headquarters in 1996, petitioning the company to expand to the Valley. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, azcentral, "The world's largest White Castle — and first in Arizona — is now open near Scottsdale," 23 Oct. 2019 This involved petitioning the courts to repeal the law, lobbying MPs and encouraging international partners to impose economic sanctions, Byarugaba said. Alice Mccool, CNN, "Activists defiant as Uganda proposes death penalty for gay sex," 12 Oct. 2019 With advocacy group #cut50, she’s visited prisons, petitioned governors and attended meetings at the White House. Tomás Mier, PEOPLE.com, "Imprisoned Slam Star, Who Met with Kim Kardashian, Gets Early Release in Life Sentence," 4 Oct. 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

27 Oct 2019

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

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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