Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A solemn supplication or request to a superior authority; an entreaty.
  • n. A formal written document requesting a right or benefit from a person or group in authority.
  • n. Law A formal written application requesting a court for a specific judicial action: a petition for appeal.
  • n. Law The judicial action asked for in any such request.
  • n. Something requested or entreated.
  • transitive v. To address a petition to.
  • transitive v. To ask for by petition; request formally.
  • intransitive v. To make a request, especially formally: petitioned for retrial.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A formal, written request made to an official person or organized body, often containing many signatures.
  • n. A compilation of signatures built in order to exert moral authority in support of a specific cause.
  • n. A formal written request for judicial action.
  • v. To make a request, commonly in written form.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A prayer; a supplication; an imploration; an entreaty; especially, a request of a solemn or formal kind; a prayer to the Supreme Being, or to a person of superior power, rank, or authority; also, a single clause in such a prayer.
  • n. A formal written request addressed to an official person, or to an organized body, having power to grant it; specifically (Law), a supplication to government, in either of its branches, for the granting of a particular grace or right; -- in distinction from a memorial, which calls certain facts to mind; also, the written document.
  • transitive v. To make a prayer or request to; to ask from; to solicit; to entreat; especially, to make a formal written supplication, or application to, as to any branch of the government
  • intransitive v. To make a petition or solicitation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An entreaty, supplication, or prayer; a solemn or formal supplication, as one addressed to the Supreme Being, or to a superior in rank or power; also, a particular request or article among several in a prayer.
  • n. A formal written request or supplication; particularly, a written supplication from an inferior to a superior, or to a legislative or other body, soliciting some favor, right, grant, or mercy.
  • n. In law, a written application for an order of court, used
  • n. where a suit is already pending in respect to the subject of which some relief is sought that renders proper a more for mal application than a motion (as a petition for instructions to a receiver), or
  • n. where the subject is within the jurisdiction of the court with out the bringing of an action (as a petition for the writ, of habeas corpus, or for an adjudication in bankruptcy); also, the paper containing such a supplication, solicitation, or humble request.
  • n. A begging: only in the rare phrase ‘petition of a principle’ (begging the question), translating Latin petitio principii.
  • n. A declaration of the rights of the people addressed by Parliament in 1628 to King Charles 1., and his assent to it, which, though not in form a statute or ordinance, has been accepted as having the full force and effect of fundamental law. It recited, in substance, that subjects should not be taxed but by consent of Parliament; that commissions for raising money should not be issued contrary to law; that no free man should be imprisoned, disseized of his land, outlawed, or exiled but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land; that no subject ought to be imprisoned without cause shown; that citizens should not be compelled to entertain soldiers against the law; and that commissions for the trial of offenders by martial law ought not to issue in time of peace.
  • n. under active
  • n. Synonyms Supplication, Suit, etc. (see prayer), solicitation, application, address.
  • To present a petition or make a request to; supplicate; entreat; specifically, to address a written or printed petition or supplication to, as to a sovereign, legislative body, or person in authority, for some favor or right.
  • To solicit; ask for; desire as a favor.
  • To intercede; make a humble request or entreaty; present a petition.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a formal message requesting something that is submitted to an authority
  • v. write a petition for something to somebody; request formally and in writing
  • n. reverent petition to a deity

Etymologies

Middle English peticion, from Old French petition, from Latin petītiō, petītiōn-, from petītus, past participle of petere, to request; see pet- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English, from Old French peticiun, from stem of Latin petitio ("a request, solicitation"), from petere ("to require, seek, go forward") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • I sign a lot of these on Care2.com.

    October 29, 2012