Petit treason, formerly, in England, the crime of killing a person to whom the offender owed duty or
subjection, as one's husband, master, mistress, etc. The crime is now not distinguished from murder.
(Pe*ti"tion) n. [F. pétition, L. petitio, fr. petere, petitum, to beg, ask, seek; perh. akin to E.
feather, or find.]
1. 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.
A house of prayer and petition for thy people.1 Macc. vii. 37.
This last petition heard of all her prayer.Dryden.
2. 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
Petition of right (Law), a petition to obtain possession or restitution of property, either real or personal,
from the Crown, which suggests such a title as controverts the title of the Crown, grounded on facts
disclosed in the petition itself. Mozley & W. The Petition of Right (Eng. Hist.), the parliamentary
declaration of the rights of the people, assented to by Charles I.
(Pe*ti"tion), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Petitioned ; p. pr. & vb. n. Petitioning.] 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; as, to petition the court; to petition the governor.
You have . . . petitioned all the gods for my prosperity.Shak.
(Pe*ti"tion), v. i. To make a petition or solicitation.
(Pe*ti"tion*a*ri*ly) adv. By way of begging the question; by an assumption. [R.] Sir T. Browne.
1. Supplicatory; making a petition.
Pardon Rome, and any petitionary countrymen.Shak.
2. Containing a petition; of the nature of a petition; as, a petitionary epistle. Swift.
(Pe*ti`tion*ee") n. A person cited to answer, or defend against, a petition.
(Pe*ti"tion*er) n. One who presents a petition.
(Pe*ti"tion*ing), n. The act of presenting apetition; a supplication.
(Pet"i*tor) n. [L., fr. petere to seek.] One who seeks or asks; a seeker; an applicant. [R.] Fuller.
Petitory suit or action (Admiralty Law), a suit in which the mere title to property is litigated and sought
to be enforced, as distinguished from a possessory suit; also (Scots Law), a suit wherein the plaintiff
claims something as due him by the defendant. Burrill.
(Pet"i*to*ry) a. [L. petitorius, fr. petere, petitum, to beg, ask: cf. F. pétitore.] Petitioning; soliciting; supplicating.
Sir W. Hamilton.
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