[ uh-peel ]
/ əˈpil /


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.


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

Origin of appeal

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English a(p)pelen < Anglo-French, Old French a(p)peler < 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 < Anglo-French, Old French apel, noun derivative of ap(p)eler

Related forms

Synonym study

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.

Word story

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.” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for appeal

British Dictionary definitions for appeal


/ (əˈpiːl) /



Derived Forms

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