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Etymology 1[edit]

From Anglo-Norman somoundre, from Old French sumundre, from Latin summonēre, itself from sub + monēre, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *monéyeti, causative from *men- (to think).


  • IPA(key): /ˈsʌmən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌmən


summon (third-person singular simple present summons, present participle summoning, simple past and past participle summoned)

  1. (transitive) To call people together; to convene.
    • 2007, John Zerzan, Silence:
      Silence is primary, summoning presence to itself; so it's a connection to the realm of origin.
  2. (transitive) To ask someone to come; to send for.
  3. To order (goods) and have delivered
    • 2019 November 21, Samanth Subramanian, “How our home delivery habit reshaped the world”, in The Guardian[1]:
      You can summon groceries, alcohol and medicines to your home: chips and vodka on New Year’s Eve, say, and then aspirin on New Year’s Day.
  4. (transitive) To rouse oneself to exert a skill.
    Synonyms: summon up, muster, muster up
    • 1866, Pierre Bigandet, The Life or Legend of Gaudama, the Buddha of the Burmese, with annotations and notice on the Phongyies or Burmese monks, page 396:
      For securing the attainment of what he considered to be a most desirable end, he summoned all his abilities with a most praiseworthy energy and perseverance.
    • 2011, Sister Louise Sweigart, cgs, Joseph: A Guiding Light, Inspiring Voices →ISBN, page 61
      Joseph needed to summon all his reserve to keep his self-control, for no sooner had Asa voiced his request than Joseph recalled his remark to Aaron about a child being given to this couple in lieu of their giving Mary to him.
    • November 2 2014, Daniel Taylor, "Sergio Agüero strike wins derby for Manchester City against 10-man United,"
      City will feel nonplussed when they review the tape and Pellegrini had to summon all his restraint in the post-match interviews.
  5. (fantasy, transitive) To call a resource by magic.
    • 2010, Kay Hooper, The Wizard of Seattle, Fanfare, →ISBN:
      “Why won't you teach me to summon water? I can summon fire so easily, it's only logical that I should learn to put out my mistakes.”
  6. (law, transitive) To summons; convene.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


summon (plural summons)

  1. (video games) A creature magically summoned to do the summoner's bidding.
  2. call, command, order (Can we add an example for this sense?)
    • quoted in 2013, Robin Sterling, People and Things from the Cullman, Alabama Tribune 1898-1913 (page 172)
      The deceased was 58 years of age, was the picture of health even five or six hours prior to his death, when suddenly the grim messenger came with a summon from a Higher Tribunal, calling him to duties above.

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from Malay saman (fine, financial penalty), which is itself borrowed from English summons (notice summoning someone to appear in court). This sense re-emerged in English as summon likely due to the erroneous belief that the original singular English word summons is plural. Doublet of summons and saman.


summon (plural summons)

  1. (Malaysia, colloquial, slang) A fine; a fee or monetary penalty incurred for breaking the law; usually for a minor offence such as a traffic violation.
    Synonyms: summons, saman
    You better pay off the parking summon tomorrow before you kena interest on it.
  2. (Malaysia, colloquial, slang) A notice of an infringement of the law, usually incurring such a penalty; a citation or ticket.


summon (third-person singular simple present summons, present participle (rare) summoning, simple past and past participle summoned)

  1. (transitive, Malaysia, colloquial, slang) To impose such a fine or penalty, or to issue a notice thereof.
    The police summoned the driver for speeding.
    They kena summoned for littering.