summons

1 of 2

noun

sum·​mons ˈsə-mənz How to pronounce summons (audio)
plural summonses
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

2 of 2

verb

summonsed; summonsing; summonses

Examples of summons in a Sentence

Noun The judge issued a summons. He received a royal summons.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Both were issued summonses to appear in court on the charges next month, records show. Bill Lukitsch, Kansas City Star, 20 Jan. 2024 The prosecutor's office told PEOPLE Friday that no summonses or criminal charges have been filed. Brian Brant, Peoplemag, 19 Jan. 2024 Ten people were arrested, nine of whom received summonses for disorderly conduct and were released, police said. Aaron Katersky, ABC News, 20 Sep. 2023 One person was arrested for assault, and nine others received summonses for disorderly conduct. Andy Rose, CNN, 20 Sep. 2023 All defendants were issued summonses by Nov. 20, and a pro hac vice motion was filed two days later, meaning Hall requested an out-of-state attorney to join the case. Daniela Avila, Peoplemag, 30 Nov. 2023 Along with Oates, summonses were issued for his wife, Aimee, as well as a man named Richard Flynn, both listed as co-trustees of the John W. Oates TISA Trust. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 22 Nov. 2023 This week, summonses — a procedural precursor to a formal complaint — were filed against music producer Jimmy Iovine and New York Mayor Eric Adams. Anne Branigin, Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2023 To make riders feel safer, transit officials have focused on issuing summonses, which are up by 55 percent from January through September compared with the same period last year. Ana Ley, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2023
Verb
She was arrested and summonsed at least four times in the years leading up to her election to Congress in 2020. John Aguilar The Denver Post (tns), al, 12 Sep. 2023 Gaud was transported to a local hospital for treatment, the statement said, and will be summonsed to court at a later date. Claire Law, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Mar. 2023 The visit is interrupted by the discovery of a mysterious book that summons the Deadites, forcing the two to defend themselves and the children. Ej Panaligan, Variety, 4 Jan. 2023 But if an employee working remotely is underperforming, the bank summons the worker to the office for coaching, CEO Jane Fraser says. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 18 Jan. 2023 His powers are unleashed when a high schooler learning witchcraft summons him to get revenge on the mean girls at school. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 12 Jan. 2023 Frank opens the puzzle box and summons the Cenobites, rendering himself a skinless corpse who needs blood to become whole again. Josh Bell, Vulture, 11 Oct. 2022 For every sunbeam of humanity Fraser lets shine through this soul, the film summons a half-dozen dark clouds to try and dampen it. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 9 Dec. 2022 Louis eventually leaves the house too, when Grace (Kalyne Coleman) summons him. Sara Netzley, EW.com, 31 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1659, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of summons was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near summons

Cite this Entry

“Summons.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/summons. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

summons

1 of 2 noun
sum·​mons ˈsəm-ənz How to pronounce summons (audio)
plural summonses
1
: the act of summoning
especially : a call by authority to appear at a place named or to attend to some duty
2
: a warning or notice to appear in court
3
: a call, signal, or knock that summons

summons

2 of 2 verb

Legal Definition

summons

1 of 2 noun
sum·​mons ˈsə-mənz How to pronounce summons (audio)
plural summonses
-mən-zəz
: 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

2 of 2 transitive verb
summonsed
-mənzd
; summonsing
-mən-ziŋ
: summon
especially : to bring into court by a summons
hereby summonsed to serve as a trial juror

More from Merriam-Webster on summons

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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