petition-n; 3 Senses

Sense Number 1: a formal document signed by many people requesting some course of action

Commentary: PETITION[+entity][+artifact][+document][+formal][+request][+signed][+by_group]

John signed a petition against plans for real estate development next to the lake.
The petition will require two thousand more signatures to get on the ballot.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 2: a humble request or supplication to a higher authority

Commentary: PETITION[+event][+speech_act][+request][+humble][+to_authority][+high]

Her petition to the king to give clemency to her son was granted.
The second act of the opera includes a famous aria, the heroine's petition to god for forgiveness.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2

Sense Number 3: an application submitted to a court of law to obtain a lawsuit

Commentary: PETITION[+entity][+artifact][+document][+formal][+application][+legal][+to_court][+for_lawsuit]

He was shocked to learn his wife had filed a petition for divorce.
They are expected to file a petition against the company as early as next week.

WordNet 0.0 Sense Numbers: 1b