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subpoena

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noun sub·poe·na \sə-ˈpē-nə, ÷-nē\

Definition of subpoena

  1. :  a writ commanding a person designated in it to appear in court under a penalty for failure

subpoena was our Word of the Day on 05/14/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of subpoena in a sentence

  1. received a subpoena to appear as a witness for the prosecution

Did You Know?

If you think you recognize the sub- in subpoena as the prefix meaning "under, beneath, below," you're on target. Subpoena arrived in Modern English (via the Middle English suppena) from the Latin sub poena, a combination of sub and poena, meaning "penalty." Other poena descendants in English include impunity ("freedom from penalty"), penal ("of or relating to punishment"), and even punish. There is also the verb subpoena, as in "Defense lawyers have subpoenaed several witnesses to the crime."

Origin and Etymology of subpoena

Middle English suppena, from Latin sub poena under penalty


First Known Use: 15th century


2

subpoena

verb sub·poe·na

Definition of subpoena

subpoenaed

;

subpoenaing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to serve or summon with a writ of subpoena

Examples of subpoena in a sentence

  1. He was subpoenaed to testify in a hearing.

  2. The prosecutor subpoenaed the defendant's financial records.

1640

First Known Use of subpoena

1640


SUBPOENA Defined for English Language Learners

1

subpoena

play
noun sub·poe·na \sə-ˈpē-nə, ÷-nē\

Definition of subpoena for English Language Learners

  • law : a written order that commands someone to appear in court to give evidence


2

subpoena

verb sub·poe·na

Definition of subpoena for English Language Learners

  • law : to order someone to appear in court to give evidence : to issue a subpoena to (someone) or for (something)


Law Dictionary

1

subpoena

noun sub·poe·na \sə-ˈpē-nə\
variants: also

subpena

\sə-ˈpē-nə\

Legal Definition of subpoena

  1. :  a writ commanding a designated person upon whom it has been served to appear (as in court or before a congressional committee) under a penalty (as a charge of contempt) for failure to comply — compare summons

Origin and Etymology of subpoena

Latin sub poena under penalty


2

subpoena

transitive verb sub·poe·na
variants: also

subpena

Legal Definition of subpoena

subpoenaed

subpoenaing

  1. :  to call before a court or hearing by a subpoena the inspector is given the power to subpoena any relevant…witnesses — Harvard Law Review; also :  to command the production of (evidence) by a subpoena duces tecum subpoenaed documents



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