A petitioner is a person who makes a formal request or appeal to a higher authority or organization, often for a specific purpose or outcome.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Applicant, suitor, supplicant, solicitor, plaintiff, claimant


Defendant, respondent, opponent

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun petitions, petitioners, petition, petitioner
Verb petitioned, petitions, petitioning, petition
Adjective petitionary
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The petitioner filed a petition to the court requesting a change in custody arrangements.

  • The group of citizens organized a petition to the local government as a petitioner to protest against the new zoning laws.

  • The petitioner submitted a proposal to the board of directors, requesting additional funding for the project.

  • The employee acted as a petitioner and presented a request to the HR department for a change in the company’s policy.


The term petitioner is often used in legal and formal contexts, such as in the court system, government agencies, or corporate settings. It refers to a person who initiates a formal request or appeal to a higher authority, seeking a particular outcome or resolution. The petitioner may be an individual, a group of people, or an organization.

The root word of petitioner is “petition,” which comes from the Latin word “petitio,” meaning “request.” The suffix “-er” is often used to form nouns indicating a person who performs a particular action or has a particular quality. Therefore, a petitioner is a person who makes a formal request or appeal.

In legal contexts, a petitioner is often contrasted with a respondent or defendant. The petitioner initiates a case or legal action, while the respondent or defendant is the party against whom the action is brought. In some cases, the term petitioner may also be used to refer to a plaintiff, who brings a civil lawsuit against a defendant.

Outside of legal contexts, a petitioner may be someone who is seeking to effect change or influence decision-making in a particular organization or community. This could involve submitting a petition to a government agency, company, or other entity in order to address a particular issue or concern.

Overall, the term petitioner is used to describe a person who is seeking to achieve a specific outcome or resolution through formal channels. Its usage may vary depending on the context, but it generally refers to a person who is making a formal request or appeal for a particular purpose.