I am looking for a way to describe the target of a request/petition. This could be a person, an institution or a machine (common in the tech world). The word "receiver" is not specific enough for my taste and I feel it not only implies some kind of transfer but also a specific direction. I am trying to avoid this connotation because the target of a request could be requested to provide something, thus making it the opposite of a receiver.

I tried to google several variants of "word for target of a petition/request", but couldn't find anything useful. Then I decided to look for antonyms and thought "petitioner" would be a good search term. I looked at thesaurus.com, but it doesn't show any antonyms for my request. Neither does Merriam-Webster. I did find 13 antonyms at Power Thesaurus, but the only one that seems to have some semantic match is "responsor", which Merriam-Webster in turn defines as

the receiver component of an interrogator

This question goes in a similar direction, but has not been answered.

This question also goes in a similar direction, but then takes a computer-specific turn.

This question has almost the same basic idea, but has also not (really) been answered.

Is there even such a word in the English language?

  • how does one make a petition to a machine (apparently common)?
    – depperm
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 14:16
  • @depperm: One doesn't, but the OP wrote "request/petition", so see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Request–response.
    – ruakh
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 14:24
  • @ruakh I am familiar with web requests, I never really associated it with petitioning. For computers/technology the target would be a server
    – depperm
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 14:27
  • @deperm Not necessarily always a server. But even if it were always a server that would be a word for the concrete thing, where I am rather looking for the term for the abstract concept. Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 14:29
  • 1
    The target of a petition is not the "antonym" of petitioner. Like a wide receiver in football is not the antonym of quarterback. Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 14:34

1 Answer 1



a person cited to answer or defend against a petition


the main computer in a network which provides files and services that are used by the other computers

Requestee (not from MW)

A person from whom something is requested


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