Definition of petition noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//pəˈtɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pəˈtɪʃn//
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  1. 1petition (against/for something) a written document signed by a large number of people that asks somebody in a position of authority to do or change something a petition against experiments on animals The workers are getting up (= starting) a petition for tighter safety standards. Councillors were presented with a petition calling for more money to be spent on policing the area.
  2. 2(law) an official document asking a court to take a particular course of action a bankruptcy petition Her husband has already filed a petition for divorce.
  3. 3(formal) a formal prayer to God or request to somebody in authority
  4. Word OriginMiddle English: from Latin petitio(n-), from petit- ‘aimed at, sought, laid claim to’, from the verb petere.Extra examples He can file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Her petition for divorce was granted. Local government supports the petition for a new hospital. She filed a habeas corpus petition on Padilla’s behalf. The company had actively circulated petitions to get rid of the union. The deadline for filing nominating petitions for the primary election was Tuesday. The district court has opposed the petition by the local electricity company. The petition opposes the closures. The petition supports the plan to rebuild the road. The petition will be heard tomorrow. The players drew up a petition and presented it to the coach. They delivered petitions with nearly 20 000 signatures to the Senate. They’ve threatened to get up a petition against the plan. Two million people signed the recall petition. We’re getting up a petition against the proposed building plans. We’ve started an online petition. a divorce petition on behalf of Terri Jones a petition asking him to reconsider a petition by local residents a petition in favour of reform Would you like to sign our petition against experiments on animals? a bankruptcy/​divorce petition
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: petition

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