What does summons mean?

Definitions for summons
ˈsʌm ənzsum·mons

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word summons.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bidding, summonsnoun

    a request to be present

    "they came at his bidding"

  2. summonsnoun

    an order to appear in person at a given place and time

  3. summons, processverb

    a writ issued by authority of law; usually compels the defendant's attendance in a civil suit; failure to appear results in a default judgment against the defendant

  4. summon, summons, citeverb

    call in an official matter, such as to attend court

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Summonsnoun

    A call of authority; admonition to appear; citation.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    What are you?
    Your name, your quality, and why you answer
    This present summons? William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    He sent to summon the seditious, and to offer pardon; but neither summons nor pardon was any thing regarded. John Hayward.

    The sons of light
    Hasted, resorting to the summons high,
    And took their seats. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    Strike your sails at summons, or prepare
    To prove the last extremities of war. Dryden.


  1. Summons

    A summons (also known in England and Wales as a claim form and in the Australian state of New South Wales as a court attendance notice (CAN)) is a legal document issued by a court (a judicial summons) or by an administrative agency of government (an administrative summons) for various purposes.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Summons

    the act of summoning; a call by authority, or by the command of a superior, to appear at a place named, or to attend to some duty

  2. Summons

    a warning or citation to appear in court; a written notification signed by the proper officer, to be served on a person, warning him to appear in court at a day specified, to answer to the plaintiff, testify as a witness, or the like

  3. Summons

    a demand to surrender

  4. Summonsverb

    to summon

  5. Etymology: [OE. somouns, OF. sumunse, semonse, semonce, F. semonce, semondre to summon, OF. p. p. semons. See Summon, v.]


  1. Summons

    Legally, a summons is a legal document issued by a court or by an administrative agency of government for various purposes.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. summons

    A call or invitation to surrender.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Summons is ranked #56836 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Summons surname appeared 359 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Summons.

    76.6% or 275 total occurrences were Black.
    14.7% or 53 total occurrences were White.
    4.4% or 16 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    3% or 11 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce summons?

How to say summons in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of summons in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of summons in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of summons in a Sentence

  1. John Paul II:

    Freedom is not only a gift but also a summons to personal responsibility, the preservation of freedom calls for the cultivation of virtue, self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good, and a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate. It also demands the courage to engage in civic life and to bring one’s deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate.

  2. Jerry Garry:

    From an environmental point of view, obviously the slurry discharge... has already caused damage to the ocean and the livelihood of the people because they will not be swimming and they will not be fishing in the area any more, there will be summons to pay compensation. There will be other punishment imposed by CEPA. I'm really not too sure as to what the nature of the penalties may be.

  3. Gwen Carr:

    If Eric Garner was a white man in Suffolk County doing the same thing that he was doing -- even if he would have been caught selling cigarettes that day -- they would have given him a summons and he wouldn't have lost his life that day, i believe that 100 percent.

  4. Del Castillo:

    It was very effective mainly because it interfered with people’s movement, usually they’re in a hurry and want to get somewhere, and if they’re stopped and have to show their ID and geta summons, it delays them.

  5. Agatha Christie:

    I live now on borrowed time, waiting in the anteroom for the summons that will inevitably come. And then - I go on to the next thing, whatever it is. One doesn't luckily have to bother about that.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for summons

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"summons." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/summons>.

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