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 She and any other candidates for Sandoval’s seat have to file nominating petitions with the state election board by Dec. 9 to qualify for the March 17 primary. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: There’s definitely a lingering hangover in the Johnson case," 4 Dec. 2019 Another petition was presented in July demanding an end to plastic pollution under the Clean Water Act. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Environmental groups ban together to demand action on plastics from EPA," 3 Dec. 2019 Discretionary licensing, a federal bar on interstate handgun sales, and bans on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among the five cases with pending petitions in the justices’ inboxes. The Economist, "The Supreme Court hears its first gun-rights case in a decade," 2 Dec. 2019 The Court of Appeals last month denied Armor's petition to appeal the trial judge's ruling, which put the cases back on schedule. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Criminal trial again set in motion for former Milwaukee County Jail medical provider," 2 Dec. 2019 Other names can be submitted through a petition process until Dec. 5. Greg Garrison | Ggarrison@al.com, al, "Three bishop candidates – 2 women – make list for Episcopal Church," 2 Dec. 2019 Still, if all 1,088 pages of petitions were filled with 10 valid signatures, that would amount to only 10,880. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Green Party no longer recognized as a political party in Arizona," 2 Dec. 2019 Pressure has been building for some time on the prime minister, who was also facing the growing threat of a humiliating parliamentary no-confidence petition. New York Times, "Iraq Prime Minister Says He Will Resign Amid Protests," 30 Nov. 2019 Other activist groups are expected to organize retail-oriented protests across France (link in French) today, and various online petitions are calling for a boycott of Black Friday. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Black Friday’s environmental cost is sparking worldwide protests," 29 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Last March, Cotton and fellow Senators Ron Johnson, a Democrat, and Joni Ernst, a Republican, introduced a bill that would eliminate visa loopholes that allow children to petition for a foreign spouse. Elaisha Stokes, CBS News, ""I was a passport to this man": Bill to close child marriage loopholes languishes in Congress," 3 Nov. 2019 Newsom signed several bills that Brown vetoed, including a measure allowing employers, coworkers and school staff to petition a judge to take away a person’s firearms. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "In acting on 1,000 new bills, Newsom shows he’s not Jerry Brown," 14 Oct. 2019 However, the district’s voters can petition to have a special election, and if that happens after an appointment the office holder would only serve until the election. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Carlsbad special election could cost up to $300,000," 29 Sep. 2019 The decision can be petitioned for referendum in that time frame, McGrady noted after the meeting. David Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Aberdeen approves 80-acre annexation where about 400 homes are planned," 28 Aug. 2019 Under Illinois' law, which was approved by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in July 2018, law enforcement, family members, dating partners and roommates can petition courts for the individual restrictions. Lawrence Andrea, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gun control is in the spotlight again; here's what you need to know about red-flag laws and background checks," 8 Aug. 2019 Ten bills are pending in the Legislature that would expand the law, including one that would allow teachers, employers and co-workers to also petition the courts to remove guns from people determined to be a public risk. Patrick Mcgreevy, latimes.com, "After cop’s death, Gov. Gavin Newsom says he supports expanding ‘red flag’ gun laws," 25 June 2019 The legislation, already passed by the House, would allow family members, roommates, current and former romantic partners, and police officials to petition a local court to take away a gun owner’s weapons for year. Joshua Miller, BostonGlobe.com, "Senate passes ‘red flag’ gun control bill," 7 June 2018 Referendums allow citizens to petition for a public vote. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati stadium on the ballot? City says 'no'," 11 May 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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Time Traveler for petition

Time Traveler

The first known use of petition was in the 14th century

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Statistics for petition

Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Petition.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/petitioning?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=p&file=petiti03. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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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