[ suhm-uhn ]
See synonyms for: summonsummonedsummonssummoner on

verb (used with object)
  1. to call upon to do something specified.

  2. to call for the presence of, as by command, message, or signal; call.

  1. to call or notify to appear at a specified place, especially before a court: to summon a defendant.

  2. to authorize or order a gathering of; call together by authority, as for deliberation or action: to summon parliament.

  3. to call into action; rouse; call forth (often. followed by up): to summon all one's courage.

Origin of summon

First recorded in 1175–1225; from Medieval Latin summonēre “to summon,” Latin: “to remind unofficially, suggest,” equivalent to sum- sum- + monēre “to remind, warn”; replacing Middle English somonen, from Old French semondre, somondre, from unattested Vulgar Latin summonere, Latin summonēre, as above

synonym study For summon

1-3. See call.

Other words from summon

  • sum·mon·a·ble, adjective
  • sum·mon·er, noun
  • re·sum·mon, verb (used with object)
  • un·sum·mon·a·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use summon in a sentence

  • In this case the midwife was afraid to go alone with her summoner, and begged that her husband might accompany her.

    The Science of Fairy Tales | Edwin Sidney Hartland
  • Thus I did until the summoner of death came to my abode, and disasters occurred before me.

  • The 3rd represents the Summoner led away, but this time neither to profit nor to pleasure, by his horned companion.

    Chaucer for Children | Mrs. H. R. Haweis
  • He had a Summoner ready to his hand, who worked under this strict archdeacon with equal severity.

    Chaucer for Children | Mrs. H. R. Haweis
  • Thank you, said the greedy Summoner; and they shook hands, and promised to be staunch friends and sworn brothers till they died!

    Chaucer for Children | Mrs. H. R. Haweis

British Dictionary definitions for summon


/ (ˈsʌmən) /

  1. to order to come; send for, esp to attend court, by issuing a summons

  2. to order or instruct (to do something) or call (to something): the bell summoned them to their work

  1. to call upon to meet or convene

  2. (often foll by up) to muster or gather (one's strength, courage, etc)

Origin of summon

C13: from Latin summonēre to give a discreet reminder, from monēre to advise

Derived forms of summon

  • summonable, adjective

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