View synonyms for petition


[ puh-tish-uhn ]


  1. 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.

    Synonyms: suit

  2. 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.

    Synonyms: appeal, solicitation, entreaty

  3. something that is sought by request or entreaty:

    to receive one's full petition.

  4. Law. an application for a court order or for some judicial action.

verb (used with object)

  1. to beg for or request (something).
  2. to address a formal petition to (a sovereign, a legislative body, etc.):

    He received everything for which he had petitioned the king.

  3. to ask by petition for (something).

verb (used without object)

  1. to present a petition.
  2. to address or present a formal petition.

    Synonyms: sue, solicit

  3. to request or solicit, as by a petition:

    to petition for redress of grievances.


/ pɪˈtɪʃən /


  1. a written document signed by a large number of people demanding some form of action from a government or other authority
  2. any formal request to a higher authority or deity; entreaty
  3. law a formal application in writing made to a court asking for some specific judicial action

    a petition for divorce

  4. the action of petitioning
“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


  1. tr to address or present a petition to (a person in authority, government, etc)

    to petition Parliament

  2. intrfoll byfor to seek by petition

    to petition for a change in the law

“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
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Derived Forms

  • peˈtitionary, adjective
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Other Words From

  • pe·tition·a·ble adjective
  • pe·tition·er pe·tition·ist noun
  • counter·pe·tition noun verb
  • prepe·tition noun verb (used with object)
  • re-pe·tition verb (used with object)
  • unpe·titioned adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of petition1

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English peticioun, from Middle French peticion, from Latin petītiōn-, stem of petītiō “an attack, request,” from petīt(us) “assaulted, sought” (past participle of petere “to assault, head for, seek”) + -iō -ion
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Word History and Origins

Origin of petition1

C14: from Latin petītiō, from petere to seek
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Synonym Study

See appeal.
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Example Sentences

Stand up for working momsThere are so many ways to use your voice, and while a phone call to your representatives is among the most powerful, MomsRising makes five-second activism incredibly easy via digital petitions.

Before she ran for office, Greene circulated a petition to have Pelosi impeached.

A petition one member posted on the Internet that year drew more than 1,200 signatures, and its Facebook page boasts 1,300 followers, more than twice the number on the Move the Monument page.

It states that as part of the process, a notice of the name change petition must be published “in a newspaper of general circulation,” in the county where the petitioner resides, unless the court grants a motion to waive this publication requirement.

A petition claims the update threatens the country’s security.

From Quartz

A petition asking A&E to drop the show is already making the rounds online.

A petition has been delivered in Nevada that will put a similar measure to the one in Washington on the ballot in 2016.

It had more petition signatures than any previous Nevada ballot initiative.

Wahlberg filed his petition for a pardon to the governor of Massachusetts on November 26.

The petition, open to any citizen to join, gathered forty thousand signatures in the first three months.

The royal Audiencia has investigated this matter, on petition of the cabildo, in order to refer it to that royal council.

If he does not inhibit or exclude from his mind the word “Petition” he can make no advance.

I humbly petition your Majesty to be pleased to order that he be despatched here, so that this so urgent need may be supplied.

The clerical staff in all the offices had combined and presented a petition in the highest quarter.

The petition must be signed and properly verified, and may be afterward amended for cause in the interest of justice.





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