Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Petition
PETITION, an entreaty, a request, a supplication, a prayer; a solemn, earnest, or formal prayer of entreaty addressed to the Supreme Being, or to a superior in rank and power. A single article, or several, in a prayer; as, the several petitions of the Lord's Prayer. A formal written request or application made to one vested with authority, or to a legislative or administrative body, soliciting a favor, grant, right, or act of mercy. The paper or document containing such request or application; especially applied in legal language to an application to a court or judge, as a petition for a divorce.