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

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from summon

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

Synonyms for summon


call, hail

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

As for her team, Ellis has summoned 60 players since the Olympics, including 29 newcomers. Steven Goff,, "U.S. women's soccer is one year from the World Cup. It seems closer for coach Jill Ellis.," 12 July 2018 Investigators on Capitol Hill had summoned current and former EPA aides for questioning as part of more than a dozen federal inquiries into Pruitt’s spending and management of the agency. Washington Post,, "Pruitt steps down as EPA head after ethics, management scandals," 6 July 2018 Riza Aziz, co-founder of Red Granite Pictures Inc. and stepson of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been summoned to a Tuesday hearing at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, according to state news agency Bernama. Time, "Wolf of Wall Street," 4 July 2018 Political sources earlier said Mr. Abdullah had summoned former prime minister Mulki for an audience in the king's palace. Suleiman Al-khalidi And Ellen Francis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Jordan's king appoints a new PM amid widespread unrest over tax hikes," 4 June 2018 Fisaha had been living in Israel for six years when he was unexpectedly summoned to Holot, a migrant detention center deep in the Negev Desert, in early 2014. Brian Goldstone, The New Republic, "Essential reporting, interpretation, and opinion on politics and culture. Don't miss our latest.," 26 June 2018 They have been summoned, instead, this week, across platforms that are decidedly mainstream. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "How to Look Away," 20 June 2018 And then there was DiSarro’s step-brother, Roland Wheeler, who testified that DiSarro was beside himself after he’d been summoned to a meeting with Salemme just days before the killing. Travis Andersen,, "Prosecutors urge Salemme jury to reject notion that former mob boss was framed," 19 June 2018 Americans are messaging friends, streaming videos and summoning transportation and other services on their smartphones more than ever. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "Cellphone Bills Go Up for First Time in Nearly Two Years," 13 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about summon

Phrases Related to summon

summon up

Statistics for summon

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for summon

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!