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transitive verb sum·mon \ˈsə-mən\

Simple Definition of summon

  • : 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)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of summon

summonedsummoning play \ˈsə-mə-niŋ, ˈsəm-niŋ\

  1. 1 :  to issue a call to convene :  convoke

  2. 2 :  to command by service of a summons to appear in court

  3. 3 :  to call upon for specified action

  4. 4 :  to bid to come :  send for <summon a physician>

  5. 5 :  to call forth :  evoke —often used with up

summonable play \ˈsə-mə-nə-bəl\ adjective
summoner play \ˈsə-mə-nər, ˈsəm-nər\ noun

Examples of summon in a sentence

  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 Students


  1. 1 :  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>

  2. 2 :  to order to appear before a court of law

  3. 3 :  to call into being :  arouse <She tried to summon up courage.>

Law Dictionary


transitive verb sum·mon

Legal Definition of summon

  1. :  to command by service of a summons to appear in court

Seen and Heard

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expressing little or no emotion

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