Definition of petition in English:

petition

noun

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

    ‘she was asked to sign a petition against plans to build on the local playing fields’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Well, I've signed a lot of petitions and written a lot of letters.’
    • ‘Even if you never write letters, sign petitions, or speak up in public, you can still make a difference in this world.’
    • ‘They don't hesitate to sign petitions, write letters or otherwise share their opinions.’
    • ‘Outraged by the Government's threat to their sub post offices, people have signed petitions and written letters urging ministers to think again.’
    • ‘On the fourth day, she rises, and writes a petition to the higher authorities claiming her right to work as an ordinary state official.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But residents who turned out in force at the meeting and signed a petition against the plan said they were devastated by the decision.’
    • ‘More than 700 people have signed a petition opposing plans to drill for oil close to homes on a farmland site in Hampshire.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The news comes after thousands of local people signed a petition protesting over plans to sell Altrincham ice rink for housing.’
    • ‘Angry cabbies serving York rail station are flocking to sign a petition against plans to make them wear clip-on ties.’
    • ‘More than 500 people have signed a petition calling for the plans to be thrown out and the land left untouched.’
    • ‘Public representatives hope thousands of people will sign a petition aimed at saving the station from closing at night.’
    • ‘A total of 167 parents signed the petition requesting the council help them get to grips with the dog fouling issue.’
    • ‘More than a fifth of medical doctors have signed a petition stating they will not transmit data to the database.’
    • ‘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.’
    appeal, round robin, list of protesters, list of signatures
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    1. 1.1An appeal or request to a deity or a superior.
      ‘a steady stream of petitions to Allah were audible’
      • ‘Nor, for that matter, COULD they regulate anyone's private petitions to their own deity!’
      • ‘Verse eight declares the defeat of the foul foe and verse nine is a concluding petition to the God of Israel.’
      • ‘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
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    2. 1.2Law An application to a court for a writ, judicial action in a suit, etc.
      ‘a divorce petition’
      • ‘The election is subject to the result of the writ petitions before the Supreme Court on the domicile status of candidates contesting the poll.’
      • ‘There are very recent cases, some of which I have discussed in a previous column, in which courts have denied petitions for fault divorce.’
      • ‘When convicted prisoners brought petitions for writs of habeas corpus before the U.S. Supreme Court, the prisoners were released immediately.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Access to a court through a petition for a writ of habeas corpus is among the most fundamental democratic rights of humanity.’
      • ‘The government is maintaining that these aliens do not have the right to file habeas corpus petitions in U.S. federal courts.’
      • ‘I speak of the trial of actions including petitions for divorce or nullity in the High Court.’
      • ‘The pair filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court, asking for a judicial review of the bishop's decision to fire them.’
      • ‘This High Court order was challenged in a writ petition filed in the apex court.’
      • ‘The procedure is that of epistolary jurisdiction, where letters written by ordinary citizens to courts get converted into writ petitions.’
      • ‘Did the court have jurisdiction to entertain an application before a petition had been issued?’
      • ‘He was especially indignant that when hearing the couple's divorce petitions, the court had affirmed Almena's charge of cruelty.’
      • ‘The petition for a writ of habeas corpus at issue in this case was filed on Hamdi's behalf by his father.’
      • ‘In response, Mainali's lawyers submitted a petition to the high court urging it to make a decision as soon as possible.’
      • ‘Under the rule of four, the petition for a writ of certiorari will be granted.’
      • ‘The court stayed the order in two writ petitions filed by the appellants.’
      • ‘They want the Supreme Court to overturn the decision and have submitted a petition for a writ of certiorari.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, three writ petitions were admitted in the High Court against the seven-week moratorium.’
      • ‘In the petition for divorce, Kimberley claims spousal support of $20,000 per month.’
      • ‘The divorce petition was not defended, and on 14 March 2000, her husband was granted a decree absolute of divorce.’

verb

[with object]often petition someone/something for
  • 1Present a petition to (an authority) in respect of a particular cause.

    ‘the organization is petitioning the EU for a moratorium on the patent’
    with object and infinitive ‘the islanders petitioned the government to help them leave St Kilda’
    • ‘The residents had petitioned both authorities for traffic reduction measures.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Among its early actions was to petition the authorities for a separate Jewish burial ground.’
    • ‘York voters have the right to petition the city council for a referendum on whether to have a directly elected mayor with executive powers.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
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    1. 1.1Make an appeal to (a deity or superior)
      ‘a Highland chief 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.’
      • ‘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 Act allowed couples to petition for divorce after one year of marriage’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Your son's mother has petitioned the court for a hearing to lift the restraining order.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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

/pɪˈtɪʃ(ə)n/