petition

noun
pe·​ti·​tion | \ pə-ˈti-shən How to pronounce petition (audio) \
plural petitions

Definition of petition

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a formal written request made to an authority or organized body (such as a court) filing a petition for divorce Her defense lawyer had petitioned the court to videotape Scott's testimony about Hearst before he died, but the petition was denied.— Robert Lipsyte
b : a written request or call for change signed by many people in support of a shared cause or concern Hundreds of contributors and readers signed a petition circulated by the National Book Critics Circle, urging the Post to save the stand-alone section.— Motoko Rich Her group put together a petition signed by more than 100,000 consumers demanding that regulators crack down on companies who "robocall" consumers using automated dialers and recorded voices to market scams.— Shawn Zeller
2 : an earnest request : entreaty … he begged to sleep with Hareton, and his petition was granted for once.— Emily Brontë
3 : something asked or requested

petition

verb
petitioned; petitioning\ pə-​ˈti-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce petition (audio) \; petitions

Definition of petition (Entry 2 of 2)

1 transitive : to make a request to (someone) especially : to make a formal written request to (an authority) His people petitioned the government for permission to use the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. — Taylor Branch … to adopt "red-flag" laws, which allow police officers and family members to petition a court to bar dangerous individuals from possessing guns. — Norman J. Ornstein
2 intransitive : to make a request She neither petitioned for her right nor claimed it.— George Meredith especially : to make a formal written request A year later he moved to Rome and petitioned to join the Jesuits, who gave him a university education and ordained him in 1586. — Brian Vickers

Other Words from petition

Noun

petitionary \ pə-​ˈti-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce petition (audio) \ adjective

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 fate of Tractor Field 4 has sparked protests and prompted 5,000 people to sign a petition. Morgan Meaker, Wired, 7 Jan. 2022 Some 20% of Bingham County residents who were registered to vote in the last general election would need to sign a petition for a special recall election to be held. Paul P. Murphy And Emma Tucker, CNN, 24 Dec. 2021 In the final episode of the documentary series, Mr. Muhammad, the host, asks Mr. Aziz to sign a petition asking the Manhattan district attorney to review his conviction. New York Times, 17 Nov. 2021 And Henry Ferland, a Bostonian who as @traashboyyy is attempting to pick up half a million pieces of trash around the world, asked his followers to sign a petition urging Congress to declare a climate emergency. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Nov. 2021 Lawmakers can force one if two-thirds of them sign a petition, and Republicans have big enough majorities. Lindsay Schnell, USA TODAY, 11 Nov. 2021 The Chapmans were among the first to sign the petition. Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Nov. 2021 Andrea Shorter, organizer of the current effort, said people who want to sign the recall petition continue to reach out to her, even though the deadline passed last month. Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Nov. 2021 The resolution on the table at the council’s Oct. 26 meeting called for town officials to sign the petition. Steve Smith, courant.com, 4 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Companies can petition for exemptions, but a September analysis by the Congressional Research Service shows that most requests are rejected. Jennifer Conrad, Wired, 30 Dec. 2021 Also, the public can petition the council to hold a referendum. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 21 July 2021 People charged with possession of 4 ounces or less of cannabis before Jan. 1, 2000, or from Oct. 1, 2015 through June 30, 2021, can petition a court beginning July 1, 2022, to have their criminal record erased. Russell Blair, courant.com, 19 June 2021 The House Judiciary Committee has passed legislation from Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, giving the families of cold case victims the opportunity to petition the federal government to reexamine cases older than three years. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 9 Dec. 2021 The lack of statistics pushed feminist organizations to petition the government to organize a national count of violence by police. Arno Pedram, ajc, 7 Aug. 2021 The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections petition filing deadline was Wednesday, Aug. 4, which happened to be one day after a special congressional primary election was held. cleveland, 6 Aug. 2021 Included in the bill is a stipulation that a university can petition the Gaming Board to suspend wagers on that school’s games. Kevin Bessler, Washington Examiner, 18 Mar. 2021 Phoenix and Mara's latest message comes after the couple paired up with fellow vegan Billie Eilish to petition President Joe Biden to send pardoned turkeys to Farm Sanctuary this year instead of giving them to farms, zoos or universities. Greta Bjornson, PEOPLE.com, 18 Nov. 2021

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 2

Verb

1607, in the meaning defined at 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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Dictionary Entries Near petition

petitgrain oil

petition

petitional

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Statistics for petition

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Petition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/petition. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for petition

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

More from Merriam-Webster on petition

Nglish: Translation of petition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of petition for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about petition

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