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subpoena

or sub·pe·na

[ suh-pee-nuh, suhb- ]
/ səˈpi nə, səb- /
Law.
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noun
the usual writ for the summoning of witnesses or the submission of evidence, as records or documents, before a court or other deliberative body.
verb (used with object), sub·poe·naed, sub·poe·na·ing.
to serve with a subpoena.
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Origin of subpoena

1375–1425; late Middle English <Latin sub poenā under penalty (the first words of the writ)

OTHER WORDS FROM subpoena

un·sub·poe·naed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use subpoena in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for subpoena

subpoena
/ (səbˈpiːnə, səˈpiːnə) /

noun
a writ issued by a court of justice requiring a person to appear before the court at a specified time
verb -nas, -naing or -naed
(tr) to serve with a subpoena

Word Origin for subpoena

C15: from Latin: under penalty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for subpoena

subpoena
[ (suh-pee-nuh) ]

An order of a court, a legislature, or a grand jury compelling a witness to be present at a trial or hearing, under penalty of fine or imprisonment. Subpoena is Latin for “under penalty.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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