- a formally drawn request, often bearing the names of a number of those making the request, that is addressed to a person or group of persons in authority or power, soliciting some favor, right, mercy, or other benefit: a petition for clemency; a petition for the repeal of an unfair law.
- a request made for something desired, especially a respectful or humble request, as to a superior or to one of those in authority; a supplication or prayer: a petition for aid; a petition to God for courage and strength.
- something that is sought by request or entreaty: to receive one's full petition.
- Law. an application for a court order or for some judicial action.
- to beg for or request (something).
- to address a formal petition to (a sovereign, a legislative body, etc.): He received everything for which he had petitioned the king.
- to ask by petition for (something).
- to present a petition.
- to address or present a formal petition.
- to request or solicit, as by a petition: to petition for redress of grievances.
Origin of petition
SynonymsSee more synonyms for petition on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for petition
A petition has been delivered in Nevada that will put a similar measure to the one in Washington on the ballot in 2016.The Gun Battle Since Newtown
December 14, 2014
Wahlberg filed his petition for a pardon to the governor of Massachusetts on November 26.LAPD Foundation: Mark Wahlberg Would Make a Good Reserve Cop
December 9, 2014
The petition, open to any citizen to join, gathered forty thousand signatures in the first three months.How Havel Inspired the Velvet Revolution
December 6, 2014
But their petition is far short of the required 50,000 signatures.Will the Swiss Quit Cooking their Kittens and Puppies?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 30, 2014
Their expectation was that her petition to have her passport returned might be honored.Let’s Free Stacey Addison, The Oregon Woman Jailed at the Ends of the Earth
October 30, 2014
And in the meantime a trireme was despatched in all haste to carry their petition to Sparta.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
The praying of this petition presupposes a penitent state of heart.
What do we acknowledge and for what do we pray in this petition?
This petition does not imply, therefore, that we are to make God's name holy.
If we are not truly penitent, this petition is a mockery on our lips.
- a written document signed by a large number of people demanding some form of action from a government or other authority
- any formal request to a higher authority or deity; entreaty
- law a formal application in writing made to a court asking for some specific judicial actiona petition for divorce
- the action of petitioning
- (tr) to address or present a petition to (a person in authority, government, etc)to petition Parliament
- (intr foll by for) to seek by petitionto petition for a change in the law
Word Origin and History for petition
early 14c., "a supplication or prayer, especially to a deity," from Old French peticion "request, petition" (12c., Modern French pétition) and directly from Latin petitionem (nominative petitio) "a blow, thrust, attack, aim; a seeking, searching," in law "a claim, suit," noun of action from past participle stem of petere "to make for, go to; attack, assail; seek, strive after; ask for, beg, beseech, request; fetch; derive; demand, require," from PIE root *pet-, also *pete- "to rush; to fly" (cf. Sanskrit pattram "wing, feather, leaf," patara- "flying, fleeting;" Hittite pittar "wing;" Greek piptein "to fall," potamos "rushing water," pteryx "wing;" Old English feðer "feather;" Latin penna "feather, wing;" Old Church Slavonic pero "feather;" Old Welsh eterin "bird"). Meaning "formal written request to a superior (earthly)" is attested from early 15c.
c.1600, from petition (n.). Related: Petitioned; petitioning.