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

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 Gambit is a unique mash-up of PvP and PvE, tasking two teams of four with killing enemies to collect enough motes of light to summon an end-boss before the others—or spending those motes to harass the rival group. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "The best PC games of E3 2018," 15 June 2018 In this future utopia, all one will need is a working smartphone, assuming the Russians haven’t hacked it yet; one simple app will summon your mobility to your door in mere minutes. Ed Wallace\, star-telegram, "Technology’s Blown Engine," 8 June 2018 A few months after the email exchange, Koob summoned Jernigan and Siegel to NIAAA’s offices. Sharon Begley, STAT, "NIH rejected a study of alcohol advertising while pursuing industry funding for other research," 2 Apr. 2018 Please rethink that and summon the patience to engage. Carolyn Hax, idahostatesman, "Pressured to repair husband’s ties with sisters | Idaho Statesman," 9 Feb. 2018 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

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

4 Nov 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).


a private place of worship

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