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

Indians lefty reliever Oliver Perez was summoned with Oakland’s Dustin Fower coming up. John Shea,, "Could Giants, other teams be cautious at trade deadline because of luxury tax?," 30 June 2018 Randall Errington was summoned to appear before the West Dundee Liquor Control Commission in May after Bikini Bottom Bar and Grill, 105-107 W. Main St., had accrued 10 liquor code violations since February 2017. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "Bikini Bottom making 'progress' in finding ways to stop illegal activity, West Dundee chief says," 19 June 2018 Eventually, an off-duty Atlanta Police Officer was summoned with whom one or more of the women got into an altercation that led to arrests. Eve Hartley, Teen Vogue, "Three Atlanta Actresses Claim They Were Wrongfully Arrested After Using a Bathroom," 23 May 2018 Emergency personnel were summoned to a city residence. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, "National Guard hazmat experts tapped after 2 in Emmett sickened by unknown substance | Idaho Statesman," 18 May 2018 Soon, Holderman was summoned for a meeting with Keaton herself. Yohana Desta, HWD, "Why Diane Keaton’s Book Club Role Is Even More Meta Than You Think," 17 May 2018 The Merriweather District will be the first in the country built for automated self-parking cars, in which drivers summon their car via mobile app, according to company founder and CEO Anuja Sonalker. Kate Magill, Columbia Flier, "Ground broken as massive project to 'transform' Columbia's downtown begins," 30 Apr. 2018 But after the latest attack, Israel’s ambassador to Moscow was summoned to explain it. The Economist, "Israel is determined to stop Iran from establishing bases in Syria," 12 Apr. 2018 Will other tech CEOs be summoned to Washington, too? Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Congress doesn’t know how Facebook works and other things we learned from Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony," 12 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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Phrases Related to summon

summon up

Statistics for summon

Last Updated

7 Oct 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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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).


lying above or upon

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