transitive verb sum·mon \ˈsə-mən\

: to order (someone) to come to a place

: to order (someone) to appear in a court of law

: to ask for (someone or something) to come : to send or call for (someone or something)

sum·monedsum·mon·ing \ˈsə-mə-niŋ, ˈsəm-niŋ\

Full Definition of SUMMON

:  to issue a call to convene :  convoke
:  to command by service of a summons to appear in court
:  to call upon for specified action
:  to bid to come :  send for <summon a physician>
:  to call forth :  evoke —often used with up
sum·mon·able \ˈsə-mə-nə-bəl\ adjective
sum·mon·er \ˈsə-mə-nər, ˈsəm-nər\ noun

Examples of SUMMON

  1. The queen summoned him back to the palace.
  2. <without explanation, the managing editor summoned me to his office>

Origin of SUMMON

Middle English somnen, somonen, from Anglo-French somondre, from Vulgar Latin *summonere, alteration of Latin summonēre to remind secretly, from sub- secretly + monēre to warn — more at sub-, mind
First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of SUMMON

summon, call, cite, convoke, convene, muster mean to demand the presence of. summon implies the exercise of authority <was summoned to answer charges>. call may be used less formally for summon <called the legislature into special session>. cite implies a summoning to court usually to answer a charge <cited for drunken driving>. convoke implies a summons to assemble for deliberative or legislative purposes <convoked a Vatican council>. convene is somewhat less formal than convoke <convened the students>. muster suggests a calling up of a number of things that form a group in order that they may be exhibited, displayed, or utilized as a whole <mustered the troops>.

Rhymes with SUMMON

SUMMON Defined for Kids


verb sum·mon \ˈsə-mən\

Definition of SUMMON for Kids

:  to call or send for :  convene <The clerk … summoned a bellboy and handed him a key. “Take this gentleman to his room!” — E. B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan>
:  to order to appear before a court of law
:  to call into being :  arouse <She tried to summon up courage.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: summons (noun)Previous Word in the Dictionary: summit yardAll Words Near: summon
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears