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1 : a formal written request made to an official person or body (as a court or board) [a for equitable relief] [the creditor filed a for involuntary bankruptcy]
2 : a document embodying a formal written request
vt : to direct a petition to [ the court]
: to make a petition [ for relief]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.