summons

noun
sum·​mons | \ˈsə-mənz \
plural summonses

Definition of summons 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of summoning especially : a call by authority to appear at a place named or to attend to a duty

2 : a warning or citation to appear in court: such as

a : a written notification to be served on a person as a warning to appear in court at a day specified to answer to the plaintiff

b : a subpoena to appear as a witness

3 : something (such as a call) that summons

summons

verb
summonsed; summonsing; summonses

Definition of summons (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of summons in a Sentence

Noun

The judge issued a summons. He received a royal summons.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2014, the mayor announced a similar plan to issue summonses instead of making arrests for carrying around marijuana. Jonathan Wolfe, New York Times, "Marijuana in New York: Here’s How the Laws Are Changing," 20 June 2018 The Russian law enforcement office declined to accept the summonses, US prosecutors said. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, "Special counsel hits snag in bringing a criminal case against Russians," 4 May 2018 Around 17,500 people are arrested each year on marijuana possession charges in New York City, but Mr. de Blasio said about 10,000 of those arrests would be eliminated and replaced with criminal summonses under the new policy. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "New York City Will End Marijuana Arrests for Most People," 19 June 2018 All three suspects were issued summonses to appear in Taunton District Court. BostonGlobe.com, "New England news in brief," 13 July 2018 Both students, whose names have yet to be revealed, were issued juvenile summonses, police said. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Tennessee teen stabs male student with scissors after he pulls up her dress, police say," 5 May 2018 They were issued four separate summonses with potential penalties of more than $8,000. Josh Barbanel, WSJ, "Homeowners Face More Fines as NYC Cracks Down on Short-Term Rentals," 10 July 2018 Only 6% of the modern-slavery offences recorded by police in the year to March 2017 resulted in charges or court summonses. The Economist, "Britain’s new law against modern slavery secures a rare conviction," 5 July 2018 Police give the driver a summons and impound the car. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "Toll Roads So Tough, Naughty Drivers Are Felons," 6 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

July also summons athletes back to the gridiron and summer workouts for other fall sports. Shelby Dermer, Cincinnati.com, "Parents and athletes: How to spot and treat heat-related illnesses this summer," 3 July 2018 Defense lawyers say the real impetus for marijuana enforcement is often not an arrest or summons itself, but rather the opportunity for police officers to stop and search people and check for open warrants in other cases. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "New York City Will End Marijuana Arrests for Most People," 19 June 2018 While López Obrador summons the nation-building legacies of pioneering Mexican leaders like Benito Juárez and Lázaro Cárdenas, his critics cast him in line with Venezuela's late Hugo Chávez and populist strongmen further to the south. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Mexico’s presidential frontrunner is promising a revolution. Can he deliver?," 29 June 2018 Rodriguez will be summonsed to court for an arraignment at Wrentham District Court. Elise Takahama, BostonGlobe.com, "Easton man charged with animal cruelty after allegedly abandoning kittens," 8 June 2018 Police discovered the turkey was shot within 150 feet of a roadway, 500 feet of a dwelling, and on private property, and summonsed the shooter and the driver for multiple wildlife violations, police said. BostonGlobe.com, "blotter," 9 May 2018 Upon moving to a remote cottage on Ireland’s southern coast, a painter named Maggie Turner inadvertently summons the house’s malign spirits during a session at the Ouija board. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction Chronicle: Under West Indian Eyes," 18 May 2018 He will be summonsed to court, but a date for his appearance has not yet been set, the statement said. Maddie Kilgannon, BostonGlobe.com, "Barnstable police charge driver in hit-and-run," 26 Mar. 2018 The group regularly summons visits from police, firefighters and paramedics while stirring up angst among business owners and officials who promote tourism. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage’s hardest-to-house homeless cost $50,000 a year on the street. Could that money be better spent?," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'summons.' 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 summons

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1683, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for summons

Noun

Middle English somouns, from Anglo-French somonse, from past participle of somondre

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Statistics for summons

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for summons

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

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More Definitions for summons

summons

noun

English Language Learners Definition of summons

 (Entry 1 of 2)

law : an official order to appear in a court of law

: an official order to appear at a particular place

summons

verb

English Language Learners Definition of summons (Entry 2 of 2)

law : to order (someone) to appear in a court of law

summons

noun
sum·​mons | \ˈsə-mənz \
plural summonses

Kids Definition of summons

1 : the act of calling or sending for

2 : a call by authority to appear at a place named or to attend to some duty a royal summons

3 : a written order to appear in court

summons

noun
sum·​mons | \ˈsə-mənz \
plural summonses\ -​mən-​zəz \

Legal Definition of summons 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a written notification that one is required to appear in court: as

a : a document in a civil suit that is issued by an authorized judicial officer (as a clerk of court) and delivered to a plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney for service on the defendant and that notifies the defendant that he or she must appear and defend (as by filing an answer) within a specified time or a default judgment will be rendered for the plaintiff

b : a document that summons a defendant to appear before a court to answer a minor criminal charge and that is issued in lieu of a warrant for arrest by an authorized judicial officer (as a magistrate) upon request of a prosecuting attorney

c : a notification to appear for jury service

d : a notification to appear as a witness — see also john doe summons, service — compare subpoena

summons

transitive verb
summonsed\ -​mənzd \; summonsing\ -​mən-​ziŋ \

Legal Definition of summons (Entry 2 of 2)

: summon especially : to bring into court by a summons hereby summonsed to serve as a trial juror

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