sum·​mon | \ˈsə-mən \
summoned; summoning\ˈsə-​mə-​niŋ, 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 \ adjective
summoner \ˈsə-​mə-​nər, ˈsəm-​nər \ noun

Synonyms for summon


call, hail

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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

What better way to set your intentions for the future and summon the universe than by creating a vision board. Jaime Osnato, SELF, "Amazon’s New Home Collection Is My Vision Board Come to Life—Here Are 13 Things I Want," 21 Nov. 2018 American troops, summoned to contain the uprising, fired machine guns through the windows. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "The One Time American Troops Fought Russians Was at the End of World War I—and They Lost," 9 Nov. 2018 This works beautifully in moments when characters are united through music and shared stories, and when summoning the past and the nationalist tradition that fuels their loyalty to the IRA. Aja Romano, Vox, "The Olivier-winning play from Jez Butterworth juggles 21 actors, a baby, and a goose — with a dark strain of Irish nationalism.," 3 Nov. 2018 In every generation, there are those who put country first, who prize service ahead of self, who summon idealism from a cynical age. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Vice President Mike Pence Pays Tribute to John McCain in Speech at His Memorial Service," 31 Aug. 2018 While the inside may summon memories of the historic landmark, the exterior will decidedly not, with a glass skyscraper taking the place of the unassuming facade that stood there before. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Tokyo’s iconic Hotel Okura to reopen in 2019 after renovations," 13 July 2018 But if Tillman is set to make one more start in the minors, that would mean that right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis would likely be summoned from Triple-A Norfolk to start Sunday. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Orioles notes: Ramírez to start Saturday; Tillman expected to make final rehab start Sunday," 12 July 2018 Apparently only one of them was summoned by the court. Lilia Blaise, New York Times, "Tunisia Truth Commission Brings One Court Case in Four Years," 6 June 2018 According to reports, the police were summoned by the on-site manager, who denied either one or both men entry to the bathroom. Shamira Ibrahim, Daily Intelligencer, "Black Loiterers, White Lingerers, and Starbucks Coffee," 24 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for summon

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for summon

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

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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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on summon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with summon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for summon

Spanish Central: Translation of summon

Nglish: Translation of summon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of summon for Arabic Speakers

Comments on summon

What made you want to look up summon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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