summons

noun
sum·​mons | \ ˈsə-mənz How to pronounce summons (audio) \
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)

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Synonyms for summons

Synonyms: Noun

process, subpoena

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Examples of summons in a Sentence

Noun

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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Enfield police issued a summons for one of the men to appear in court in Connecticut, but police did not say which man. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "4 arrested in theft of power tools after police chase in Longmeadow," 1 Aug. 2019 Michelle Mata, 37, of Lakewood was issued a summons on July 24 for criminal tampering. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Aurora identifies woman cited in connection with flag removals during July ICE protest," 30 July 2019 According to Human Rights Watch, authorities this year have issued at least 147 arbitrary court and police summonses against members or supporters of the Cambodia National Rescue Party. Washington Post, "Near-erasure of Cambodian opposition makes noodles a target," 10 June 2019 Abraham, 36, of Randallstown, was also charged with 19 counts and was issued a summons on July 11, according to electronic court records. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Gwynn Oak woman charged with stealing credit card in Sykesville gym, charging more than $2,000," 25 July 2019 Until now the biggest user of such summonses in tax cases has been America, which, for instance, used the procedure in 2008 to prise open Swiss bank secrecy. The Economist, "Will America go from hunter to hunted in cross-border tax evasion?," 25 July 2019 The boy was issued a juvenile summons for first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, Avon Lt. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Police: One juvenile arrested, second being sought in Avon park robbery," 19 July 2019 City officials said homeless people who opt in to the program will complete an assessment with an outreach team, receive a referral to shelters or other services, and have their summonses cleared in coordination with the MTA. Ben Chapman, WSJ, "Homeless Found Breaking Laws on New York Subway to Be Referred to Social Services," 13 June 2019 Violators may be issued a summons for a class 2 petty offense, punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Clear Creek tubing, swimming and body surfing banned as death toll on Colorado waterways continues to rise," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The man is being summonsed and will not be arrested, police said. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "The Hamburglar has a new sidekick: Alleged Waltham french fry thief turns himself in," 31 July 2019 Online court records indicate Crown Hill has been summonsed in the matter, which remains pending. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "After cemetery's opposition, John Dillinger's nephew seeks court order for access to grave," 25 Mar. 2016 Many of them probably will reappear when their messiah re-summons them. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: For the Democrats, it’s winnowing time," 4 Aug. 2019 Many of them probably will reappear when their messiah re-summons them. George Will, National Review, "For the Democrats, It’s Winnowing Time," 4 Aug. 2019 Many of them probably will reappear when their messiah re-summons them. George F. Will, The Denver Post, "Will: For the Democrats, it’s winnowing time," 4 Aug. 2019 MacRoberts has been summonsed to Wareham District Court on multiple charges, including operating under the influence, child endangerment while operating under the influence, and failure to properly restrain a child under age 5, police said. Adam Sennott, BostonGlobe.com, "Woman overdoses, crashes car with child on board, Wareham police say," 25 Mar. 2018 Alone, its garnish of lime studded with fragrant cloves summons the tropics. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Cane doubles the pleasures with chef-driven Caribbean cooking," 19 June 2019 The man — whose name has not been released — was summonsed on charges of disorderly conduct, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to use care in stopping, and marked lanes violation, State Police said in a statement. Elise Takahama And Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "Man who jumped onto school bus hood on Pike will face charges," 4 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

13 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce summons (audio) \
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 How to pronounce summons (audio) \
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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Comments on summons

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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