• synonyms


[suhm-uh nz]
noun, plural sum·mons·es.
  1. an authoritative command, message, or signal by which one is summoned.
  2. a request, demand, or call to do something: a summons to surrender.
  3. Law.
    1. a call or citation by authority to appear before a court or a judicial officer.
    2. the writ by which the call is made.
  4. an authoritative call or notice to appear at a specified place, as for a particular purpose or duty.
  5. a call issued for the meeting of an assembly or parliament.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to serve with a summons; summon.
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Origin of summons

1250–1300; Middle English somons < Anglo-French; Old French somonse < Vulgar Latin *summonsa, for Latin summonita, feminine past participle of summonēre; see summon
Related formsnon·sum·mons, nounre·sum·mons, noun, plural re·sum·mons·es.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for summonses

writ, indictment, warrant, subpoena, notification, citation, order, bell, cry, call, calling, process, requisition

Examples from the Web for summonses

Contemporary Examples of summonses

Historical Examples of summonses

  • The Comdie must, according to the rules, send me three summonses.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Those pretty boys will be in here with their summonses and their papers!

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo)

    Vicente Blasco Ibez

  • Nor were there any summonses or police courts afterwards; the incident was closed.

    Pickwickian Studies

    Percy Fitzgerald

  • “Yes; and summonses for assault, and all that bother,” said Uncle Dick.

    Patience Wins

    George Manville Fenn

  • It was through him that all summonses and notices had to go.

British Dictionary definitions for summonses


noun plural -monses
  1. a call, signal, or order to do something, esp to appear in person or attend at a specified place or time
    1. an official order requiring a person to attend court, either to answer a charge or to give evidence
    2. the writ making such an orderCompare warrant
  2. a call or command given to the members of an assembly to convene a meeting
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  1. to take out a summons against (a person)
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Word Origin for summons

C13: from Old French somonse, from somondre to summon
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