From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpetitionpe‧ti‧tion1 /pəˈtɪʃən/ ●○○ noun [countable] 1 PPASK FOR something/ASK somebody TO DO somethinga written request signed by a lot of people, asking someone in authority to do something or change somethingpetition for/against a petition against the new road They wanted me to sign a petition against experiments on animals. Local residents have drawn up a petition to protest the hospital closure. petition drive American English (=an attempt to get a lot of people to sign a petition)2 lawSCL an official letter to a law court, asking for a legal case to be consideredpetition for She is threatening to file a petition for divorce.3 formalPRAYASK FOR something/ASK somebody TO DO something a formal prayer or request to someone in authority or to GodCOLLOCATIONSverbssign a petitionFive hundred villagers have signed the petition.draw up a petition (=prepare one)They are drawing up a petition which will be presented to the Archbishop.organize a petitionLocal residents organized a petition against the closure of the library.present/deliver a petitionA group of pensioners went to London to present the petition.a petition calling for something/demanding somethingA petition calling for an inquiry was signed by 15,118 people.a petition opposing something458 local people signed a petition opposing the move.petition + NOUNa petition drive American English (=an attempt to get a lot of people to sign a petition)More than 20,000 signatures were gathered by the petition drive.
Examples from the Corpuspetition• Anti-hunt protestors stayed away from the meeting, preferring to show their support by way of a petition of more than 5,500 signatures.• Signatures have been collected on a petition to call an extraordinary general meeting following Forest's struggling start to the season.• Local groups have collected 17,000 votes on a petition to recall the mayor.• Thousands signed a petition which saved it from closure a year ago.• A petition signed by 1000 hospital doctors will be handed to the Minister of Health at lunchtime today.• She carried around her petition like a Bible.• A residents' petition called for the venture to be shelved until a more suitable access route was devised.• That same signature would remain valid on the petition of an independent candidate, she said.• Less than one-fourth of those petition signers said they would vote for Perot if he runs again this year.petition for/against• Over 200 residents signed a petition against the traffic signal.• The Supreme Court action was taken in response to a petition against the government's decision submitted by the Bar Association.• A petition for street-lighting in Great Stainton was handed into the committee.• The larger unincorporated industrial towns could petition for incorporation under this Act and many did so over the following years.• His petition for a writ of habeas corpus was denied by the circuit court.• Still others petition for improved playgrounds in their town and extended hours at their local library.• Requests, Court of, est. 1390 for the hearing of poor people's petitions for the recovery of debts, etc.• After that, a student would have to get his or her employer to petition for a permanent stay.• Wilson said last week as he denied Williams' petition for clemency.petition for• Judge Campbell rejected Thompson's petition for custody of the children.• At the end of March, Moody's wife petitioned for divorce.