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 At least Werner will have the benefit of experience should he be summoned again. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Third-string Avalanche goalie Adam Werner finds instant success with 40 saves in NHL debut," 13 Nov. 2019 Her grandmother looked for 15 minutes and then summoned help from loggers passing by. Fox News, "Toddler lost in Oregon wilderness found safe by woman on horseback and her dog," 10 Nov. 2019 They were rescued in 2013 after Berry escaped and summoned help. Robert Higgs, cleveland, "Mayor Frank Jackson OKs legislation needed to develop arts, social service center near site of Ariel Castro’s crimes," 8 Oct. 2019 The Nigerian government summoned its ambassador Bobby Moroe on Wednesday saying some of its citizens were targeted in the attacks. Bukola Adebayo, CNN, "South African president calls for arrest of those involved in xenophobic attacks," 3 Sep. 2019 The T cell can thus inspect the surface of a cell, alert others, and move on, like a drug-sniffing dog at a security checkpoint, going from one suitcase to another, summoning help where necessary. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, "The Promise and Price of Cellular Therapies," 15 July 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for summon

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for summon

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Summon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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

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