- 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
- 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 prepetition
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.