[ uh-peel ]
/ əˈpil /
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See synonyms for: appeal / appealed / appealing / appeals on Thesaurus.com

Definition of appeal

verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
  1. to apply for review of (a case) to a higher tribunal.
  2. Obsolete. to charge with a crime before a tribunal.
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Idioms about appeal

    appeal to the country, British. country (def. 16).

Origin of appeal

First recorded in 1250–1300; (verb) Middle English a(p)pelen, from Anglo-French, Old French a(p)peler, from Latin appellāre “to speak to, address,” equivalent to ap- ap-1 + -pellāre, iterative stem of pellere “to push, beat against”; (noun) Middle English ap(p)el, from Anglo-French, Old French apel, noun derivative of ap(p)eler

synonym study for appeal

6. Appeal, entreat, petition, supplicate mean to ask for something wished for or needed. Appeal and petition may concern groups and formal or public requests. Entreat and supplicate are usually more personal and urgent. To appeal is to ask earnestly for help or support, on grounds of reason, justice, common humanity, etc.: to appeal for contributions to a cause. To petition is to ask by written request, by prayer, or the like, that something be granted: to petition for more playgrounds. Entreat suggests pleading: The captured knight entreated the king not to punish him. To supplicate is to beg humbly, usually from a superior, powerful, or stern (official) person: to supplicate that the lives of prisoners be spared.

historical usage of appeal

The English noun appeal is first recorded at the end of the 13th century; the verb dates from the first half of the 14th century. But in English (and in French), the noun is a derivative of the verb.
The Old French verb apeler is a regular French development from Latin appellāre “to speak to, address, name, call upon (for help), solicit, demand repayment, charge, accuse.” The Latin and Old French sense that prevails in English is “to refer or call to a higher authority (e.g., to the emperor or a higher judge).”
Appellāre is a frequentative derived from the verb appellere “to drive (cattle, equipment), to go or land ashore,” which develops the sense “to call to, address.”
The meaning “to be attractive or pleasing” developed from the earlier meaning “to address oneself, as to a class of people or to a principle of moral conduct, in expectation of a sympathetic response.”


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use appeal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for appeal

/ (əˈpiːl) /


Derived forms of appeal

appealable, adjectiveappealer, noun

Word Origin for appeal

C14: from Old French appeler, from Latin appellāre to entreat (literally: to approach), from pellere to push, drive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012