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

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 Ideally, the Legislature would summon the political will to impose true accountability by amending the state Constitution to make sheriffs appointed positions, like police chiefs. Erika D. Smith, Los Angeles Times, 1 May 2022 The industry’s biggest stars — who probably have more influence over American gun owners than any other faction in popular culture — could not summon the collective courage to speak up for gun control. Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2022 Governments, businesses and individuals must summon the willpower to transform economies, embrace new habits and leave behind the age of fossil fuels - or face the catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate change. Sarah Kaplan And Brady Dennis, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Apr. 2022 Lighting designer Eric Nelson and sound designer Matt Corey summon the characters’ fantasy worlds, the last one a nightmare straight out of a horror movie. Christine Dolen,, 3 Apr. 2022 The videos summon, in their terse messaging, the grim solidarity of emergency. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 28 Feb. 2022 Which raises the question: should Lady Gaga summon her better graces and attend the 2022 Oscars anyway? From a red carpet standpoint, absolutely—though that's to the viewer's benefit. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 24 Feb. 2022 Did Slater summon that wave through mystical powers? Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Feb. 2022 Few other contemporary locations summon such a sense of reverence, exclusivity and historical angst — especially if the college is somewhere in brisk New England and adorned with the Ivy League distinction. Tomris Laffly, Variety, 21 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near summon

summit yard



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Statistics for summon

Last Updated

4 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Summon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for summon


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.


transitive verb

Legal Definition of summon

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

More from Merriam-Webster on summon

Nglish: Translation of summon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of summon for Arabic Speakers


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