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

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Other Words from summon

summonable \ ˈsə-​mə-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce summonable (audio) \ adjective
summoner \ ˈsə-​mə-​nər How to pronounce summoner (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 The Brewers had a 2-1 lead in the seventh, courtesy of Cory Spangenberg’s two-run homer that inning, when reliever Ray Black was summoned. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 7, Cardinals 6: Ryan Braun stuns St. Louis with two-out grand slam in ninth inning," 15 Sep. 2019 The 11-page, 10-minute piece begins with the detectives assigned to Marie’s case summoning her for questioning. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Netflix’s Unbelievable Is a Different Sort of Drama About Sexual Assault," 13 Sep. 2019 Yet Smith’s small, orderly assemblages summoned me back to the dear things of the real world. Cate Mcquaid,, "At Mass MoCA, artist Cauleen Smith offers visions of black resilience," 29 Aug. 2019 Earlier this week, officials found Updyke in Louisiana and served him with a court order summoning him to a Lee County courtroom on Oct. 30 to explain why hasn’t been making payments. Josh Bean |, al, "Harvey Updyke summoned to court for failing to pay for Toomer’s poisoning," 14 Aug. 2019 But nothing quite prepared me for that day one year ago when Russian authorities summoned me in relation to the murder of my former husband, the journalist Orkhan Dzhemal. Irina Gordienko, Time, "My Son's Father Was Killed While Reporting on a Private Russian Militia. I'm Still Waiting for Justice," 30 July 2019 His late-season surge caught the eye of the Minnesota staff, which summoned him on Feb. 27. Houston Chronicle, "Basketball: Pearland’s Reynolds determined to land on NBA roster," 17 July 2019 Mughal kings summoned her when they were attacked by rivals. Priyanka Borpujari, National Geographic, "India’s forgotten power broker—what was her secret?," 5 July 2019 Reflecting that significance, the formally out-of-session Supreme Court has been summoned for an emergency hearing, and the number of judges has been increased from the usual five or seven to 11. Washington Post, "U.K. Supreme Court weighs whether Boris Johnson broke the law in suspending Parliament," 17 Sep. 2019

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 2019

Time Traveler for summon

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

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More Definitions for summon


How to pronounce summon (audio)

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 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.

Legal Definition of summon

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on summon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for summon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with summon

Spanish Central: Translation of summon

Nglish: Translation of summon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of summon for Arabic Speakers

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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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