applicant vs petitioner

What is the meaning of petitioner?

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The definition of a petitioner

A petitioner is someone who makes a request or asks for something in a formal manner. The term “petition” is often used in legal proceedings, such as filing a petition of right, or in government bodies, like a legislative body where someone may petition for a specific law or regulation. The word “petitioner” comes from the Latin word “petitio,” which means a request or demand. It has been used in English since the 14th century but mainly in legal contexts. Petitioners can be anyone from individuals to groups, depending on the word’s context. For example, someone seeking parole could be called a polite parole petitioner, while someone seeking a saleslady’s help in a store could be called a petitioner to a saleslady.

In some cases, being a petitioner can have negative connotations, such as a poor petitioner who may be seen as desperate or unsuccessful in their attempts to receive help or support. Petitioners may also have a criminal history, and the police department may investigate a petitioner to ensure their request is lawful and valid. There are also specific legal forms that use the term “petitioner,” such as Form I-130 and Form I-140, which are immigrant petitions filed by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident for their family member or employee.

Overall, a petitioner is someone who is asking for something in a formal manner and may have to go through legal proceedings to achieve their goal. Synonyms for petitioner include applicant, claimant, and requestor. Read more about the USCIS translation.

petitioner meaning
petitioner vs applicant

The origin of the word

The word petitioner has its roots in the Latin word petere, which means “to seek, request, or beg.” The term petitioner was first used in English during the 15th century, and it refers to someone who makes a formal request to a person or entity of authority. The Etymology of Petitioner reveals that the word evolved from the Old French term peticionaire, borrowed from the Latin petitionem. The word petitioner was used extensively in the English legal language and documents to describe the plaintiff or the complainant. It was also used to refer to a person who requested a writ, an appeal, or a judicial review. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the term “unsuccessful petitioner” became common in English legal documents to describe a petitioner whose appeal was rejected. Today, the term petitioner is used broadly and refers to anyone who submits a request or a petition for any reason. It can be used in a legal context, but it is also commonly used in politics, social activism, and business. A sentence petitioner could be a person who is asking for clemency for someone who has been wrongfully convicted. A translation of petitioner in other languages can range from “richiedente” in Italian to “petitionär” in Swedish.

The different ways the word can be used

The term petitioner is most commonly used in legal proceedings to refer to the individual or party that initiates a lawsuit or legal action. In this context, the petitioner seeks a specific outcome or relief from the court.

However, the word can also be used in a broader sense to refer to someone seeking a favor or request from a person in a position of power or authority. For example, someone might be referred to as a petitioner if they request a bank loan or ask a government agency to grant them a permit.

Another way the word can be used is about a petition, which is a written request or appeal signed by one or more individuals seeking a specific action or change. The person who starts the petition is the petitioner, and they are often seeking to create change in a community or bring attention to a particular issue.

Being a petitioner implies a certain level of assertiveness and willingness to take action to achieve a desired outcome. It can be a powerful tool for individuals or groups seeking change or resolution to a specific problem.

petitioner vs benficiary
what is petitioner

The implications of being a petitioner

It implies that you have a request or demand that you want to present to someone with the power to grant it. It means you seek a resolution or response to a matter that concerns you. As a petitioner, you must be prepared to state your case clearly and effectively, making a persuasive argument for why your request should be granted. The act of petitioning also carries specific implications in terms of power dynamics. In some situations, being a petitioner means you are in a subordinate position, asking for something from someone with the authority to grant it. This can create a power imbalance, with the petitioner being dependent on the decision of the person they are petitioning.

On the other hand, petitioning can also express power and agency. By putting forward a request or demand, the petitioner asserts their rights and takes action to achieve their goals. In some cases, petitions have been powerful tools for social change, allowing marginalized groups to voice their grievances and push for reform. Ultimately, the implications of being a petitioner depend on the specific context and the outcome of the petition. While some petitions may be successful and lead to a positive resolution, others may not be granted, leading to disappointment and frustration. Nevertheless, petitioning remains essential to advocating for one’s interests and seeking justice.

How to use the word in a sentence

There are several ways to use the word petitioner in a sentence. Here are some examples:

  • It requested a hearing with the court to plead their case.
  • The environmental group filed a petition as a petitioner to block the construction of a new oil refinery.
  • As the petitioner in the divorce case, she hoped to receive full custody of their children.
  • It addressed the city council during the public comments portion of the meeting.
  • The government responded to the petitioner’s request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Remember, a petitioner is someone who petitions or requests something, so the context of the sentence should reflect this meaning.


What is the meaning of petitioner?

The petitioner refers to an individual or entity who initiates a legal action by filing a petition or formal request with a court or administrative body.

Who can be a petitioner?

Any individual or organization with legal standing can act as a petitioner. It can be a person seeking a remedy, a representative of a group or organization, or even a government agency.

What is the purpose of being a petitioner?

The petitioner initiates legal proceedings to seek relief or resolution from a court or administrative body. This could involve requesting a judgment, seeking redress, or asking for a specific action.

What is the difference between a petitioner and a respondent?

A petitioner is the party who initiates legal proceedings by filing a petition, while a respondent is the party against whom the petition is filed. The respondent is typically required to respond to the allegations or claims made by the petitioner.

Can an individual be a petitioner in a non-legal context?

The term “petitioner” is primarily used in a legal context. However, in certain non-legal situations, such as public petitions or requests for government action, an individual can also be referred to as a petitioner.


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