sum·​mon | \ ˈsə-mən How to pronounce summon (audio) \
summoned; summoning\ ˈsə-​mə-​niŋ How to pronounce summon (audio) , ˈsəm-​niŋ \

Definition of summon

transitive verb

1 : to issue a call to convene : convoke
2 : to command by service of a summons to appear in court
3 : to call upon for specified action
4 : to bid to come : send for summon a physician
5 : to call forth : evoke often used with up

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Other Words from summon

summonable \ ˈsə-​mə-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce summon (audio) \ adjective
summoner \ ˈsə-​mə-​nər How to pronounce summon (audio) , ˈsəm-​nər \ noun

Synonyms for summon


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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

Examples of summon in a Sentence

The queen summoned him back to the palace. without explanation, the managing editor summoned me to his office
Recent Examples on the Web The change comes after attorneys, bar organizations and law professors challenged the court to look beyond voter registration records to summon potential jurors, saying the singular database does not draw a fair and representative pool. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Federal court will expand jury summons reach for more diverse pool," 24 Mar. 2021 Through it all, the chaplains must summon their spiritual strength to provide the same to others. Los Angeles Times, "Hospital chaplains embrace new role during the pandemic: caring for caregivers," 19 Mar. 2021 His memories of his life summon ours, without warning or apology. Washington Post, "Eighty years of memories that will stir readers’ own," 20 Nov. 2020 This was a kid who could secretly summon 15 friends to her house without her mother suspecting a thing — at least until the children started arriving on the doorstep, expecting a party. Nara Schoenberg,, "I knew Ramona Quimby. With any luck, you did too.," 27 Mar. 2021 The first woman to become the Man among Hollywood superagents was a genie who could summon up a breathtaking cascade of stars: Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Angie Dickinson, Lorne Michaels, Tim Robbins, Tina Fey, Tom Ford. The Editors, Town & Country, "Remember Fun? Here's a Short History of the Best Parties in Recent-ish Memory," 22 Mar. 2021 The Seattle Times reports the announcement comes after intense opposition from the union to the district’s move to summon 700 educators back to buildings this week to teach students ahead of an agreement on expanding in-person instruction. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Smithsonian exhibit, summer camp boom, turn on the lights: News from around our 50 states," 10 Mar. 2021 The two committees will summon Pentagon officials for another joint hearing next week. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, "Finger-pointing dominates hearing on Capitol riot," 23 Feb. 2021 As Melvin explained, starting the 10th and later innings with a runner on second base might not allow visiting teams to wait to summon their closer only with a chance to finish the game. Matt Kawahara,, "A’s Bob Melvin, Liam Hendriks adapt to MLB extra-innings rule," 3 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'summon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of summon

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for summon

Time Traveler

The first known use of summon was in the 13th century

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Statistics for summon

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Summon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for summon



English Language Learners 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)


sum·​mon | \ ˈsə-mən How to pronounce summon (audio) \
summoned; summoning

Kids Definition of summon

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 : to order to appear before a court of law
3 : to call into being : arouse She tried to summon up courage.

Legal Definition of summon

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

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