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

Example Sentences

Noun The judge issued a summons. He received a royal summons.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Her contralto voice — creamy and rich like a spoonful of gelato — summons the intense feelings of adolescence through its calm yet fomenting presence. Erin Osmon, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2022 Various characters are shown throughout the trailer trying to unlock the mystery of an ancient puzzle box — which, to their horror, summons the sinister Pinhead, among other creatures. Jen Juneau, Peoplemag, 21 Sep. 2022 Shalom explained it as follows: cops in New Jersey can now either give someone a summons — a ticket telling you when to go to court — or serve you a complaint warrant. Kelan Lyons, Hartford Courant, 7 Aug. 2022 But pushing the pedal harder quickly summons forceful thrust, and a standing launch in GT mode creates g-forces that relocate internal organs as the rear tires battle to find traction. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 1 Aug. 2022 According to court documents, Palou and ALPA Racing were served summons at addresses in Palou's native Spain, as well as an address presumed to be Palou's current residence in Carmel. Nathan Brown, USA TODAY, 27 July 2022 According to court documents, Palou and ALPA Racing were served summons at addresses in Palou's native Spain, as well as an address presumed to be Palou's current residence in Carmel. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 27 July 2022 Constables are representatives of the court responsible for serving processes, including for subpoenas, summons, orders of protection, evictions and property seizures, among other responsibilities. Sam Burdette, The Arizona Republic, 12 July 2022 Rather than arrest the Brunners, federal agents try to serve a summons, instructing them to appear in court. jsonline.com, 16 Nov. 2022
Verb
In lieu of calling Michael’s mother and determined to observe his culinary habits in the flesh, Sandy summons me to a 6 p.m. dinner party the following Wednesday. Shanti L. Nelson, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2022 Hargan soon summons his other two daughters: 32-year-old Ashley and 34-year-old Megan. CBS News, 1 Oct. 2022 On her 16th birthday, Becca accidentally summons the Sanderson sisters again with yet another cursed candle. Laura Zornosa, Time, 30 Sep. 2022 Jeanie finally summons a pair of Atlanta cops, who order Earn to get Gloria on the phone. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 29 Sep. 2022 The narrator of this novel is a British former soldier and recovering alcoholic, who becomes unhinged after a letter summons him to Belfast to give evidence to a commission investigating a tragic incident that occurred in 1982, during the Troubles. The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2022 But Natale Pirrotta nicely summons the angst and anger of rock star wannabe Roger, although the production short changes the recluse’s re-entrance to the world. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 4 Oct. 2022 The film is about a woman (Odessa A'zion) who accidentally summons demons from another dimension using an ancient puzzle. Lia Beck, Peoplemag, 6 Oct. 2022 The movie is about a boy who unintentionally summons the Krampus by turning his back on the holiday. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 30 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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 8 Dec. 2022.

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
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ