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

transitive verb

: to issue a call to convene : convoke
: to command by service of a summons to appear in court
: to call upon for specified action
: to bid to come : send for
summon a physician
: to call forth : evoke
often used with up
summonable adjective
ˈsə-mə-nər How to pronounce summon (audio)
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 Morawiecki’s announcement came just hours after Poland summoned Ukraine’s ambassador and threatened to expand a grain ban to other imports from its neighbor. Time, 21 Sep. 2023 Poland summoned the Ukrainian ambassador in Warsaw on Wednesday in response to the comments. Emily Rauhala, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 In desperation, the villagers seek the help of Father Nicolai who helps conduct a special ceremony deep within ancient catacombs with the hope of summoning an angel to combat the malevolent force. Anna Tingley, Variety, 18 Sep. 2023 Brennan Bernardino was summoned and needed two pitches to get pinch hitter Ernie Clement to pop up and preserve the lead. Peter Abraham,, 16 Sep. 2023 While investigating, officers were summoned to the 3000 block of Daleford Road to investigate a disagreement amongst family members. cleveland, 15 Sep. 2023 In 2014, then-New York Yankees star had been summoned by federal agents as part of their investigation into the Biogenesis of America clinic. Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2023 In 2020, he was summoned by the Revolutionary Court, which sentenced him to a decade in prison for espionage. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, 11 Sep. 2023 Romania’s Foreign Ministry summoned the chargé d’affaires of Russia’s embassy in Bucharest for a meeting after officials found drone fragments similar to those used by Russian forces near Romania’s border with Ukraine. Paulina Villegas, Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'summon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near summon

Cite this Entry

“Summon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


sum·​mon ˈsəm-ən How to pronounce summon (audio)
summoned; summoning -(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce summon (audio)
: to call or send for in order to meet : convene
: to order to appear before a court of law
: to send for
summon a physician
: to call into being
summon up courage
summoner noun

Legal Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on summon

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