verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Origin of petition

1300–50; Middle English peticioun (< Middle French peticion) < Latin petītiōn- (stem of petītiō) a seeking out, equivalent to petīt(us) (past participle of petere to seek) + -iōn- -ion
Related formspe·ti·tion·a·ble, adjectivepe·ti·tion·er, pe·ti·tion·ist, nouncoun·ter·pe·ti·tion, noun, verbpre·pe·ti·tion, noun, verb (used with object)re-pe·ti·tion, verb (used with object)un·pe·ti·tioned, adjective

Synonyms for petition

Synonym study

9. See appeal. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for petitioned

Contemporary Examples of petitioned

  • Apparently, the population of Kayakoy had petitioned the government in Ankara for the right to remain.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Turkey's Gorgeous Ghost Town

    Nina Strochlic

    July 12, 2014

  • Liberty Counsel, a Christian freedom group challenging the law in court, petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case.

  • Last month, the reclusive Matt Sandusky petitioned a court and was granted a name change for himself, his wife and four children.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Sandusky Son to Settle

    Diane Dimond

    August 18, 2013

  • When the degree of the chaos and corruption became evident, we petitioned the IOC to move the Games before it was too late.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Boycott Putin, Not the Sochi Olympics

    Garry Kasparov

    August 15, 2013

  • That's when Windsor petitioned the Supreme Court to hear her case on an expedited basis.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Edie Windsor, the Widow Taking On DOMA

    Steven Thrasher

    March 27, 2013

Historical Examples of petitioned

British Dictionary definitions for petitioned



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
Derived Formspetitionary, adjective

Word Origin for petition

C14: from Latin petītiō, from petere to seek
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

Word Origin and History for petitioned



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper