Definition of petition in English:

petition

noun

  • 1A formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority with respect to a particular cause.

    ‘she was asked to sign a petition against plans to build on the local playing fields’
    • ‘More than 100 locals and 40 traders have signed petitions fearing that the plans could ruin the appearance of the area.’
    • ‘So far 260 people have signed a petition against the plans because they feel development would destroy a green space at the heart of the town.’
    • ‘Outraged by the Government's threat to their sub post offices, people have signed petitions and written letters urging ministers to think again.’
    • ‘More than 700 people have signed a petition opposing plans to drill for oil close to homes on a farmland site in Hampshire.’
    • ‘Angry cabbies serving York rail station are flocking to sign a petition against plans to make them wear clip-on ties.’
    • ‘Even if you never write letters, sign petitions, or speak up in public, you can still make a difference in this world.’
    • ‘Public representatives hope thousands of people will sign a petition aimed at saving the station from closing at night.’
    • ‘The news comes after thousands of local people signed a petition protesting over plans to sell Altrincham ice rink for housing.’
    • ‘Two and a half thousand people had signed petitions objecting to the plans, which were raised in 1999 and which would have created up to 30 jobs in a £6m contract.’
    • ‘On the fourth day, she rises, and writes a petition to the higher authorities claiming her right to work as an ordinary state official.’
    • ‘A total of 167 parents signed the petition requesting the council help them get to grips with the dog fouling issue.’
    • ‘We'll be launching a petition where people can sign up to demand global trade justice. It's a bigger issue than many people in government realise.’
    • ‘More than a fifth of medical doctors have signed a petition stating they will not transmit data to the database.’
    • ‘I hope Evening Press readers will sign petitions and write to their MPs demanding that these plans to pay benefits directly into banks are scrapped.’
    • ‘They don't hesitate to sign petitions, write letters or otherwise share their opinions.’
    • ‘The surgery had 350 registered patients and 186 people signed a petition against plans to shut it down.’
    • ‘In an atmosphere of mounting resentment, more than 1,000 people have signed a petition against the plans.’
    • ‘But residents who turned out in force at the meeting and signed a petition against the plan said they were devastated by the decision.’
    • ‘Well, I've signed a lot of petitions and written a lot of letters.’
    • ‘More than 500 people have signed a petition calling for the plans to be thrown out and the land left untouched.’
    appeal, round robin, list of protesters, list of signatures
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An appeal or request, especially a solemn or humble one to a deity or a superior.
      • ‘Verse eight declares the defeat of the foul foe and verse nine is a concluding petition to the God of Israel.’
      • ‘Nor, for that matter, COULD they regulate anyone's private petitions to their own deity!’
      • ‘The shaman is about to perform a cha-chac ceremony: a petition to the god, Chac, to send rain.’
      entreaty, supplication, plea, prayer, appeal, request, application, invocation, suit
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Law An application to a court for a writ, judicial action in a suit, etc.
      ‘a divorce petition’
      • ‘He was especially indignant that when hearing the couple's divorce petitions, the court had affirmed Almena's charge of cruelty.’
      • ‘Under the rule of four, the petition for a writ of certiorari will be granted.’
      • ‘Did the court have jurisdiction to entertain an application before a petition had been issued?’
      • ‘When convicted prisoners brought petitions for writs of habeas corpus before the U.S. Supreme Court, the prisoners were released immediately.’
      • ‘The election is subject to the result of the writ petitions before the Supreme Court on the domicile status of candidates contesting the poll.’
      • ‘The procedure is that of epistolary jurisdiction, where letters written by ordinary citizens to courts get converted into writ petitions.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, three writ petitions were admitted in the High Court against the seven-week moratorium.’
      • ‘They want the Supreme Court to overturn the decision and have submitted a petition for a writ of certiorari.’
      • ‘The court stayed the order in two writ petitions filed by the appellants.’
      • ‘The pair filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court, asking for a judicial review of the bishop's decision to fire them.’
      • ‘In the petition for divorce, Kimberley claims spousal support of $20,000 per month.’
      • ‘This High Court order was challenged in a writ petition filed in the apex court.’
      • ‘Access to a court through a petition for a writ of habeas corpus is among the most fundamental democratic rights of humanity.’
      • ‘I speak of the trial of actions including petitions for divorce or nullity in the High Court.’
      • ‘In response, Mainali's lawyers submitted a petition to the high court urging it to make a decision as soon as possible.’
      • ‘The government is maintaining that these aliens do not have the right to file habeas corpus petitions in U.S. federal courts.’
      • ‘The petition for a writ of habeas corpus at issue in this case was filed on Hamdi's behalf by his father.’
      • ‘The divorce petition was not defended, and on 14 March 2000, her husband was granted a decree absolute of divorce.’
      • ‘There are very recent cases, some of which I have discussed in a previous column, in which courts have denied petitions for fault divorce.’
      • ‘In addition, the legality of the ad and its publication has apparently been challenged through writ petitions filed before courts in some parts of the country.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Make or present a formal request to (an authority) with respect to a particular cause.

    ‘Americans who moved west petitioned Congress for admission to the Union as states’
    with object and infinitive ‘leaders petitioned the government to hold free elections soon’
    • ‘Terence suggested that we stop wasting time and energy petitioning the authorities for permission to do what we're doing, and simply get on with it.’
    • ‘The Harrogate resident began a campaign to restrict the use of fireworks and became part of a national lobby group that petitioned MPs for change.’
    • ‘Among its early actions was to petition the authorities for a separate Jewish burial ground.’
    • ‘The residents had petitioned both authorities for traffic reduction measures.’
    • ‘York voters have the right to petition the city council for a referendum on whether to have a directly elected mayor with executive powers.’
    appeal to, request, ask, call on, entreat, beg, implore, beseech, plead with, make a plea to, pray, apply to, solicit, press, urge, adjure, present one's suit to, importune
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Make a solemn or humble appeal to (a figure of authority)
      ‘Russell petitioned her father for her hand in marriage’
      • ‘The races of Lannith petitioned the gods for aid, and the gods as a whole, for no known reason, suddenly turned their backs on all of their servants.’
      • ‘While he refused permission to appeal against the ruling, he said the Court of Appeal could be petitioned directly for an appeal hearing.’
      • ‘As well as contacting the company and petitioning them, I'm putting out an appeal for people to try to find any old tins which the company could use to work out the formula.’
      • ‘It was they who communicated with the British authorities, petitioned, and formulated demands.’
      • ‘I've already begun petitioning commissioner David Stern to expand the awards list.’
      • ‘Residents have petitioned the government authorities but no one has given their complaints a hearing.’
      • ‘Have you petitioned your school to change the dress code?’
      • ‘She petitioned the House of Lords to appeal but it decided not to hear her case.’
      • ‘The next step was to create a legal entity, which required petitioning the state board of higher education.’
      • ‘Harrow petitioned for leave to appeal to resolve this doubtful point of law and leave, I assume, was given on that basis.’
      • ‘The family of a First World War soldier executed for cowardice is petitioning the Government for a posthumous pardon.’
      • ‘The residents of tree-lined avenues in Surrey will probably start petitioning to have higher charges to keep up appearances.’
      • ‘She is petitioning for visas for family members in the Philippines.’
      • ‘Coun Amson even petitioned the Greater London Authority on the police station issue.’
      • ‘From New Mexico to Montana, they are petitioning their government and filing lawsuits.’
      • ‘He established a controversial reputation for himself early by petitioning the American authorities to leave his country.’
      • ‘Supporters backing the bid are petitioning MPs to create a law to cement the future of the nation's post offices, pubs, and corner shops.’
      • ‘And they have gathered 600 signatures petitioning against the closure.’
      • ‘She has petitioned the state authorities for many years over her coerced abortion, her right to work, and other basic rights.’
      • ‘They went broke defending a San Diego environmental activist who was sued by a huge real estate developer for petitioning to protect bald eagles.’
      • ‘After failing to get any response from the aviation authorities, the protesters petitioned the president.’
      • ‘Worshipers often petitioned the gods for life spans of a hundred years and for permanent life in a similar body in an ideal but comparable world.’
      ask for, request, solicit, call on, invite, entreat, beg for, petition for, appeal for, apply for, put in for
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Law Make a formal application to (a court) for a writ, judicial action in a suit, etc.
      ‘the custodial parent petitioned the court for payment of the arrears’
      no object ‘the process allows both spouses to jointly petition for divorce’
      • ‘Believing that the trial and verdict were unjust, in April of 1823, Elias petitioned the court for a new trial, but the justices rejected his petition because it did not follow the proper format.’
      • ‘Your son's mother has petitioned the court for a hearing to lift the restraining order.’
      • ‘The most fundamental of these guarantees - and one of the cornerstones of democratic rights worldwide - is the right to petition a court for a writ of habeas corpus.’
      • ‘All fifty states have statutes granting grandparents, and sometimes other third parties, the right to petition a court for visitation with children - even when the parents object.’
      • ‘While women must consent to marriage and may petition a court for a divorce, it is men who actively betroth, marry and divorce; women are betrothed, married and divorced by men.’

Origin

Middle English: from Latin petitio(n-), from petit- ‘aimed at, sought, laid claim to’, from the verb petere.

Pronunciation

petition

/pəˈtɪʃ(ə)n//pəˈtiSH(ə)n/